(Business in Cameroon) - On June 1, 2021, at Ihund (in Sanaga Maritime), the Cameroonian Ministers of Agriculture and Commerce Gabriel Mbairobé and Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana presided over the launch of the program “Programme femme rurale dans le cacao.”
The program is the tenth initiated by the Cocoa and Coffee Inter-professional Council (CICC) to promote cocoa farming in Cameroon. According to the CICC, it aims to ensure the economic empowerment of women who live in rural areas and are faced with poverty, despite having to carry most of the family responsibilities: cultivating farmlands, feeding the family, and taking care of children.
Through this program, the CICC intends to boost the revenues of these women by bringing them into cocoa farming and supporting their journey in the sector. Specifically, it will help beneficiaries (women living in rural areas only) develop a 1-hectare or a 0.5-hectare cocoa plantation, depending on the croplands available. They will also be trained in various ways to farm cocoa and related crops. In addition, the CICC will provide all the inputs (like seedlings) needed, support women in the execution of the difficult tasks they may face in the development phase (selective logging, planting, etc…), support the creation of treatment and maintenance brigades, and foster rural entrepreneurship.
Besides transforming rural women into agricultural entrepreneurs who derive revenues from cocoa farming, in the medium-term, the program will boost the national cocoa production which authorities expected would reach 600,000 tons in 2020 (in 2019, it was 365,000 tons).
Let’s note that in 2012, to renew the aging workforce and plantations in the country’s cocoa industry, the CICC launched the program “New Generation”. Thanks to that program, 1,520 young people (including 267 young women) benefited from the support and coaching in cocoa production. They were able to develop 2,500 hectares of cocoa plantations in the country’s production areas, according to the inter-professional council.