(Business in Cameroon) - The high prices of inputs are hurting the subsistence crop industry in Cameroon. The Central Bank Beac recently issued a note indicating that the sector will suffer a poor performance in the first quarter of 2023.
"Food crop production is expected to decline in Q1 2023, although this period is known to be a low harvest period. Year-on-year, the production would also decline over the period due to the lack of enthusiasm by producers following the hike in input costs,” Beac said. The food crop sector (cassava, potatoes, plantain, corn, etc.) has been declining in Cameroon for at least two years. In 2020, production fell by 3% compared to 3.7% in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic, the security crisis in the NoSo regions, which are major production basins, and the adverse effects of climate change are the reasons cited by Beac.
The Central Bank said that every time the country finds a solution, a new obstacle arises. Since 2022, Cameroonian producers have been facing what they call the "input crisis" (fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, seedlings, seeds...). To reduce the risk of shortages, the Ministry of Agriculture has encouraged, during the launch of the agricultural campaign in Q1 2020, the production of short-cycle foods. The government has made available to farmers 141,000 certified cassava cuttings, 60 tons of certified rainfed rice seed, 1.5 million banana plants, 200 tons of potatoes, 6 million cocoa plants, and support for the development of market gardening. But results are slow to materialize.