(Business in Cameroon) - On June 15, the government of Cameroon and the French embassy initiated the Cameroon Rural Food Security Support Project (Secal) in Yaoundé. Funded with about CFA10.5 billion (16 million euros) under the third Debt Reduction and Development Contract (C2D), this project runs from 2024 to 2026. Its objective is to support job creation, inclusive growth, and food security by enhancing the ecosystem of rural enterprises across different production basins in Cameroon.
"The Secal project is one of the responses to the security crises and inflationary tensions caused by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukrainian war, which have significantly eroded the gains of certain actions taken by the government in the fight against food insecurity in Cameroon. Its interventions aim to support the public authorities in the successful implementation of the rural development sector strategy linked to SND30," said the Minister of the Economy, Planning, and Territorial Development (Minepat), Alamine Ousmane Mey, who launched the project.
In Cameroon, about 2.9 million people (10.6% of the population) were food insecure in the period from October to December 2023, according to the results of the Harmonized Framework for Risk Zones and Identification of Populations in Food and Nutritional Insecurity unveiled on December 11. The situation has particularly worsened in 10 departments of the country: five in the Southwest, three in the Northwest, and two in the Far North. This is due to factors such as the rise in input prices, soaring prices of foodstuffs, extreme weather conditions (drought and floods) in the northern part of the country, destruction of crops by caterpillars, the devastation of fields by elephants, and the socio-political crisis in the Anglophone regions.
The activities of the Secal project, according to Cameroonian authorities, are expected to strengthen the productivity and production of agricultural and agri-food products in rural areas, improve the supply of financial services adapted to rural entrepreneurs, support the resilience of food and nutritional systems in rural areas, enhance the availability and accessibility of agricultural products in the North, Far North, Littoral, West, and Center regions, as well as the storage and marketing system of these products in rural areas. "This is about strengthening Cameroon's agricultural power, not only to feed its population but also to export the surplus of its production to neighboring countries," said French diplomat Thierry Marchand, whose country supports Cameroon's efforts in the agricultural sector.