(Business in Cameroon) - The Cameroonian government is making credit facilities ranging from CFA10 million to CFA250 million available to players in the plantain sector. The initiative, which aims to revive this industry, is carried out by the Credit Facilitation Fund for the Development of Agricultural Value Chains, Livestock, and Aquaculture (2FC-CVAEP). The resources will be channeled through the Cameroon Banana-Plantain Sector Association (FBPC).
A notice of expression of interest has already been launched, calling on all interested and eligible parties to submit their projects. According to Obam Bikoué, head of the FBPC, the interested parties must be Cameroonians and members of the association. Obam Bikoué said the FBPC is also recruiting new members (individuals and legal entities) to benefit from this financing. A two-month incubation period, either in-person or remotely, at the training center Fertile Ground in Kribi will be proposed to bidders to help them develop their projects before submission.
The costs of this incubation vary depending on the loan amount sought. For financing ranging from CFA10 to CFA50 million, the cost is CFA2.5 million, and for those ranging from over CFA50 to CFA250 million, the cost is 7.5 million, payable in two installments. FBPC does not explain the reasons for these costs but only mentions that, for the second group, they include "a business trip and the signing of business deals in Nigeria/Gabon/Equatorial Guinea/Congo…”
The loans will be allocated at a preferential interest rate for 1 to 8 years, with a grace period aligned with the agricultural season. According to Obam Bikoué, the offer aligns with the second-generation National Agricultural Investment Plan (2020-30), which seeks to support import substitution and agribusinesses to create jobs. Plantains, the third most consumed food commodity in Cameroon, are among the sixteen crops targeted by this plan. The goal is to bring production from 5 million tons in 2020 to 7 million by 2025 and 10 million by 2030.
The Credit Facilitation Fund for the Development of Agricultural Value Chains, Livestock, and Aquaculture (2FC-CVAEP) was established in March 2023 by a decree of the Prime Minister. It has two components: the "50% partial guarantee fund" supported by banks approved by the Ministry of Finance and the "microfinance institution refinancing facility," supported by financial operators recruited through competitive selection. The first component relies on a sovereign guarantee of CFA200 billion established last August, while the second is supported by the Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (PDCVA), with CFA 22 billion in funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).