(Business in Cameroon) - On January 12, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gabriel Mbairobe, officially inaugurated the cassava industrial processing plant of the Ngoulemakong Cooperative Society of Cassava Producers in the South region. With a cost exceeding CFA441 million, this initiative was made possible through the Agricultural Markets Investment and Development Project (PIDMA), overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture and funded with CFA50 billion from the World Bank.
The project aims to shift from subsistence and low-yield agriculture in maize, cassava, and sorghum to competitive agriculture focused on marketing and industrialization. The industrial complex features a production line for starch, tapioca, and breadfruit flour with a monthly processing capacity of 550 tons, averaging 20 tons per day. This capacity can be expanded with additional technical and financial resources, as stated by Minister Mbairobe. In support, he provided the Ngoulemakong Cassava Producers' Cooperative with equipment (tricycles, carriers, gloves, machetes, suits, sprayers, etc.) to enhance efficiency in raw material collection, processing, and market placement.
The plant has already gained a reputation for the "high quality" of its cassava flour in the Cameroonian market. Minister Mbairobe affirms that this flour is deemed "superior to wheat flour." Notably, it is extensively utilized by the World Food Program (WFP) for refugees and those facing famine in Cameroon and beyond. For Ngoulemakong, a significant cassava-producing area in Cameroon, the establishment of this plant provides a market outlet for local farmers.
The Ngoulemakong Cassava Processing Plant's commissioning marks the beginning of a "lengthy series" extending to multiple regions. Minister Mbairobe, in his speech, announced the upcoming commissioning of seven more similar plants across the country in 2024. He emphasized that this aligns with the import substitution and food security goals outlined in the 2020-2030 National Development Strategy (SND30).