(Business in Cameroon) - On August 19, 2023, the Agricultural Research Institute for Development (IRAD) handed over two tons of wheat seeds to a cooperative in Wassande, in the Adamaoua region. This quantity of planting material will enable the cultivation of 20 hectares of farm projected to yield 60 tons of wheat.
The seeds were distributed in the framework of a project to develop wheat farming and processing in Cameroon. They come from the three wheat seed fields recently set up in the localities of Wakwa, Mbang-Mboum, and Wassande, to develop wheat farming and reduce imports in the country.
According to the latest report on "Cameroon's foreign trade", published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), the country imported 966,400 tonnes of wheat in 2021. The volume imported was up 106,400 tonnes (+12.3%) compared with the 860,000 tonnes imported in 2020. The country spent 182.7 billion CFA Francs on wheat imports, further straining its foreign reserves and widening the trade deficit estimated at 1,478 billion CFA Francs in 2021 (+7.5%).
To lower Cameroon’s dependence on wheat imports, for several years now, IRAD has carried out experiments on wheat varieties that can grow in the country with convincing yields. These experiments took place in the North-West and Adamaoua regions. The agricultural institute decided to set up the first seed fields in Adamaou.
Let's note that in April 2022 the IRAD published an economic report focusing on wheat farming in Cameroon. In the report, the institute cited the lack of financing as one of the factors hindering the development of wheat farming in the country. In response, President Paul Biya instructed a special subsidy of a little over 10 billion CFA Francs to be made available for the research institute for wheat farming.