By Kiven Brenda in Bamenda
|ACEFA supports NW farmers with Fcfa 115m|
Over FCFA 115 million has been handed over to 32 farmer groups of Bui and Mezam divisions of the North West region by the Programme for the Improvement of Competitive Agro-Pastoral Farms (ACEFA) with the aim of improving their agricultural produce to solve the problems of food shortages and rural employment through funding.
The event that took place at a hotel in Bamenda on July 4, 2017 was supervised by the regional delegates of MINADER and MINEPIA. The grants awarded to these professional producer organisations rang from FCFA 500000 TO FCFA 6 million and are awarded quarterly with the assistance of supportive counseling teams put in place by the programme. The mouth-watering project is funded under the Debt Reduction and Development Contract (C2D) signed between Cameroon and France which allows Cameroon to convert its debt into development projects thereby achieving emergence in 2035.
The funds are used to improve the technical and economic know-how of agricultural groups and the quality of services rendered to their members as well as build the professional capacity of agro-pastoral and fish producers The National Coordinator of ACEFA, Dr Bouba Moumini reiterated government’s commitment to transform the agricultural sector by creating a system such as ACEFA which can today boast of 2276 counsellors responsible for supporting not less than 15000 farmer groups and a total of 180000 individual producers in the country.
“A number of measures have been taken to ensure that the selected funded projects effectively meet the development needs of producer groups. The identified difficulties have been addressed, but there is still much to do to ensure that this device that is being built in our country for the past 8 years to support the development of family farm enterprises is sustainably,” Dr Bouba noted.
One of the farmer representatives, Nyamnsai Ernesta from the Loweh productive group Tanka, Mezam division lamented how they had been working in the past with little yields since they lacked modern equipment. They decided to enroll in the ACEFA program for this reason and have seen changes in their output since then.In 2012, the North West got into the ACEFA supporting counselling project.
Some 239 counsellors were deployed in the region and have been helping producer organisations.2000 producers groups and 36 professional agro pastoral organisations are now receiving supportive counselling.246 projects to the sum of FCFA 870million with the recent one being today’s event, have been financed since 2015 in Mezam, Bui and Donga Mantung Divisions. The purchase of farm and transformation equipment,construction of livestock, housing and infrastructures, as well as warehouses for the storage of farm produce are some of the major projects that have been financed so far by ACEFA.