(Business in Cameroon) - The European Union recently decided to extend, by 2 years, its Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) programme being implemented in Cameroon over the past 7 years (2013-2020). The extension of this programme, aimed at boosting the competitiveness of banana produced in Cameroon, was requested by local authorities, official sources informed.
"The companies concerned have two more years to complete the actions undertaken to improve the productivity of their plantations and enhance the competitiveness of the sector," the EU explains.
In Cameroon, the BAM programme aims to modernize banana cultivation by introducing the use of equipment such as generators and irrigation systems. The programme also plans to modernize and extend the fruit terminal of the Port of Douala.
According to the EU, this 2-year extension was decided to support the banana sector weakened by the covid-19 health crisis and the security crisis. This security crisis has been raging since October 2016 in the two Anglophone regions, home to most of Cameroon’s banana producers.
Cameroon is the main beneficiary of the BAM programme, with an estimated budget of XAF31.6 billion (€48 million). The objectives of these subsidies are economic growth, poverty reduction in banana-producing regions, the creation of decent jobs, the generation of tax revenues, and the improvement of the country's trade balance.
Brice R. Mbodiam