(Business in Cameroon) - The Cameroonian government is planning a round table of investors to encourage investments in the agro-pastoral sector. The workshop is aimed at raising the CFA2,556 billion needed to implement the National Pact for Food and Agriculture, we learned.
"We have indeed secured some commitments. The African Development Bank (ADB) has made a firm commitment to support African agriculture and increase production by 30%. The Islamic Development Bank with its subsidiaries (...) has also made commitments. We also plan to organize a round table of donors in Cameroon to mobilize financing," the Minister of Agriculture, Gabriel Mbairobé told Cameroon Tribune, following the 2nd African Food Summit recently held in Senegal.
The national pact for food and agriculture in Cameroon intends to build on the country's strengths to bring about a profound transformation of the agro-pastoral sector by 2030. To achieve this, the government is focusing on six segments: rice, corn, palm oil, milk, fish, soybean, and vegetables. These segments, we learn, were selected based on their ability to add value and promote job creation in the country.
Pending the effective implementation of this program, Cameroon continues to spend significant amounts each year to import agro-pastoral products. "Cameroon has 7.2 million hectares of agricultural land (with less than 2 million ha being actually cultivated at the end of 2012, ed), 400 km of coastline, 2 million hectares of pasture, a diverse climate with seven agroecological zones (...) Our wealth is agriculture. But the sector is still struggling because today we import about CFA900 billion of agricultural products per year, including CFA400 billion of cereals,” Minister Mbairobé said.
Brice R. Mbodiam