(Business in Cameroon) - A group of 76 young Cameroonians from the localities of Bondjonck, Bomabom and Ntui in the central region received agricultural kits, including them in the “New Generation” program ; a scheme launched in 2012 by the cocoa-coffee inter-professional council (CICC) to rejuvenate production workforce in the sector.
In the next 3 years, these young people are required to grow, in their respective localities, 228 ha of new cocoa farms, at least three hectares for each of them. Since it was launched, the program has already trained more than 1520 young people (including 267 females), who have been able to plant more than 2500 hectares of cocoa farms in the country's production areas.
“It (the program) is seen as a key mainstay for economic growth, through the creation of decent jobs for the next generation, which will lead to a more productive and competitive cocoa production oriented towards more profitable markets,” said Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, the trade minister, during the new recruits’ welcoming ceremony in Bondjock.
As a reminder, “New Generation” is the result of a study by the cocoa-coffee inter-professional council, which revealed that the average age of cocoa farmers exceeded 60 years in some production areas. A solution was to train young people interested in cocoa farming on both best farming practices and production marketing techniques. At the end of the 3-year training, the new farmers who vow to produce at least 3 hectares of cocoa farms in their regions receive all needed (except land and workforce) and adequate follow-up, to become agricultural entrepreneurs, specialized in cocoa production.
Brice R. Mbodiam