(Business in Cameroon) - Banque Internationale du Cameroun pour l'épargne et le crédit (BICEC) recently published a note detailing its financial commitments in the framework of the Agricultural Investment Market Development Project (PIDMA) backed by the World Bank.
In the note, BICEC informs that as the main partner bank, it funded 23 cooperatives, to the tune of XAF1.8 billion since 2015. Thanks to the financial support, over 4,000 farmers were impacted in rural zones, the bank adds.
The amount stated is XAF700 million lower than the overall amount BICEC must disburse in the framework of that project. Indeed, in 2015, BICEC and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the sister company of the World Bank, signed a XAF2.5 billion risk-sharing agreement to grant loans to local cooperatives producing cassava, corn, and sorghum in the framework of PIDMA.
BICEC will surely fulfill its commitment to lend the XAF2.5 billion to farmer cooperatives because the PIDMA is not over yet.
PIDMA is financed, to the tune of XAF50 billion, by the World Bank. Cameroon started implementing this program in 2015 and thanks to it, it recorded significant progress in the cassava, sorghum, and corn production sector.
As the World Bank notes, sorghum farmers were able to sell their products at prices about 20% higher than what they used to perceive for their products. In the corn segment, this price has risen by about 13%.
Also, with the introduction of diversified farming systems to women associations, in the framework of the “nutrition” sub-project, 4,252 Cameroonian households now produce at least two types of food. In addition, the program helped set up 35 water points to provide drinking water to close to 35,000 residents.
The project was initially scheduled to end in 2020, but the Ministry of Agriculture requested a 21-month extension to it. For 2021, XAF7.4 billion has been adopted for the project.