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General News of Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Source: CRTV

Ministry of Agriculture to ensure production of high demand products

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The Minister of Agriculture, Essimi Menye has signed an FCFA 50 billion agreement with the World Bank Director of Operations in Cameroon, Gregor Binkert to beef up market-oriented agriculture in the country.

The five-year project (2014-2019) seeks to develop agro-business for a sustainable agricultural production both for the economy and livelihood of the producers.

Speaking during the signing ceremony,Mr Binkert said the agreement will include the production of maize, cassava and sorghum, which he argues, are three products in high demand for local consumption but ironically ofvery low productivity.

World Bank Director of Operations proposed a number of measures needed foragro-businessto be effectively implemented in Cameroon, these include;

-Using high-yielding seeds

-Organising farmers into cooperatives

-Agrichemicals, farm machinery, distribution, processing, marketing and retail of the products.

The World Bank Expert identified priority products which are in high demand internationally and nationally as a way through which agro-businesses can be intensified in the country:

-200,000 metric tons of maize,

-1.4 million metric tons of cassava;

-30,000 metric tons of flour and starch

-30,000 metric tons of sorghum

The World Bank official stated that the high demand of these products constitute one of the motivating factors for the agreement.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Essimi Menye,said the execution of the project begins withthe creation of farmer`scooperatives, with priority in the production of cassava, maize and sorghum.

Minister Essimi Menye assured farmers thatfarms andoutputs will be certified to have products of very high qualitywhile producers, engineers and technicians will be trained on third generation agriculture.

The concessional loan agreement with the World Bank falls within the framework of Agricultural Investment and Market-driven Project (AIMDP).

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