Victorine BIY NFOR/Cameroon Tribune
A support programme was launched in Yaounde yesterday with the goal of restructuring the sector.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Essimi Menye, says Cameroon plans to export fruit juice by 2025. He made the promise in Yaounde yesterday, July 28, 2015, as he gave the green light for the start of the Support Project for the Development of Fruits in Cameroon.
The over 300 million US Dollar-project (about FCFA 178.5 billion), is set to improve fruit production and intends to train producers in processing techniques and support the putting in place of fruit tree farms that will serve as experimental plots for trainers. The target is youths, Common Initiative Groups and agricultural cooperatives. The project zones are Vina and Mayo Danay Divisions in the Adamawa Region, Lekie and Mbam and Inoubou Divisions in the Centre Region, Benue and Mayo Louti Divisions in the North and the Diamaré Division of the Far North Region.
The sector strategy for fruits has as technical support the Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO. It seeks to revitalize the industry through value chain approach, targeting farmers, private sector enterprises, processors, buyers and policy makers. A national team is expected to bring out an executive summary of the sector. The Assistant to the Resident Representative of FAO in charge of Programmes, Felicitas Atanga, said her institution has acquired the necessary equipment and was about recruiting a national consultant. She said the funds sourced were limited, pleading with government to mobilise more financing so that the project will know no stop once it begins.
Morocco is a success story in fruit production and distribution. Cameroon therefore wants to tap from its rich experience, it was disclosed. Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Essimi Menye, regretted the unavailability of adequate improved fruit plant material in the country. He said the sector was also suffering from the non-mastery of technology in fruit plant cultivation, blaming the country’s retarded growth in this sector to setbacks. The new project, he stressed, will restructure the sector as government plans to have fruits produced in great quantities, processed and exported. Government and the FAO intend to work with the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development, IRAD, in implementing the project.