CAMEROON —The Government of Cameroon and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have inked a landmark framework agreement worth over CFA1.617 billion (US$2.7M) to support smallholder farmers across key regions in the country.

The agreement was signed on April 22 in Yaoundé by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Gabriel Mbairobe, and the FAO’s Subregional Coordinator for Central Africa, Athman Mravili, in the presence of the FAO Director-General, Qu Dongyu, during his official visit to Cameroon.

The focal point of this significant agreement is to bolster the production capacity of smallholder farmers, with a targeted approach towards enhancing resilience in both crop and livestock sectors in the regions of East, Adamaoua, North, and Far North. 

Minister Mbairobe delineated the strategic allocation of the funding into three pivotal components.

The first component focuses on supporting the development of small agricultural production units by acquiring and distributing 3,950 input kits in banana-plantain (1,500), yam (1,000), cassava (1,000), and vegetable (450) sectors in the East region.

The second component involves support for the development of small animal, aquaculture, and fisheries production units.

The final component focuses on technical assistance for sustainable management practices, promoting climate-smart agriculture, and training 8,000 beneficiaries.

It also includes technical capacity building for 4,100 breeders through the “farmer field school and climate-smart production” approach, as well as the establishment of 20 pasture fields and 20 kilometers of marking for transhumance corridors and cattle tracks in the East region.

In his remarks, Minister Mbairobe emphasized that agriculture is a priority for Cameroon’s development, with food and nutrition security being a key pillar.

He highlighted various challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russo-Ukrainian crisis, climate shocks, and conflicts between farmers and herders, which have led to increased food insecurity in certain regions of the country.

Official estimates suggest that about 3.4 million people will need humanitarian assistance in Cameroon in 2024, including 2.3 million among the most vulnerable

This agreement with the FAO is part of the Emergency Food Crisis Response Project (Pulcca), benefiting from $100 million in funding from the World Bank (over CFA60 billion at the current dollar value).

The project aims to mitigate short-term impacts of food and nutrition insecurity in targeted areas while simultaneously strengthening long-term economic, climate, and community resilience in the North, Far North, Northwest, Southwest, Adamaoua, and East regions.

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