Farmers in the North-Western region of Cameroon will benefit from a loan and a grant amounting to US$25.70 million (UA 16,800 million) approved by the African Development Bank’s Board of Directors to help finance the Grassfield Rural Infrastructure and Participatory Development Support Project, Phase II
The Project aims to improve agricultural production and incomes of beneficiary communities by creating rural infrastructure and building capacity. It will help to reduce poverty in the rural communities in the area covered by the project.
The project will be implemented in Cameroon’s North-West region, which has a population of 1,850,000 and a poverty rate of 51%, and is home to 13% of the total number of the rural poor.
As a continuation of the first phase of the project from 2005-2011, the operation will be implemented in basins with strong production potential, namely Widikum, Santah/Tubah, Gayama and Mbaw/Mbonso covering 8 of the region’s 36 council areas, with a concentration on the first two to maximize impact. It will help to improve agricultural production and the incomes of the beneficiary communities by creating rural infrastructure and building the capacity of the actors. The estimated outputs are: (a) irrigation development on 610 ha; (b) rehabilitation of 278 km of rural roads; and (c) establishment of socio-economic support facilities and capacity building for the different partners.
At least 250,000 people (producer organizations, processors, traders, councils, etc.), half of whom are women grouped in 50,000 households will benefit from the project. It is expected to raise agricultural production by about 37,000 tonnes as well as an annual increase in income per producer from CFAF 250,000 in 2013 to CFAF 357,910 in 2018, and CFAF 477,210 in 2024.
The project has the potential for a high degree of complementarity with the Bamenda–Enugu Corridor Project financed by AfDB, which will help to increase trade with Nigeria, Cameroon’s neighbour to the west. The project will also scale up actions carried out under the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD’s) basic seed production operation financed by a Nigeria Technical Cooperation Fund (NTCF) grant.
Through the establishment of a market information system that will be a major decision-making tool, the project will help to generate knowledge. It also envisages the adoption of an innovative approach involving the implementation of a pilot activity to establish an information system platform on agricultural markets called ‘AgriTechnology Cameroon (ATC)’. It will be based on the use of mobile telephony services (SMS) and other media for real time dissemination of information and appropriate services.
In the longer term, the project will result in the revitalization of agricultural production development and an approximately 25% reduction in poverty in the country’s North-West Region.
The project will be implemented in five years from April 2014, and will have over 250,000 direct beneficiaries half of whom are women in 50,000 households plus transporters and traders. In addition, it will help to build the capacity of cooperatives, agricultural professional associations and regional and local technical administrations. At full development, the project will increase agricultural production by about 37,000 tonnes in the intervention area. The beneficiaries will participate through the planning, implementation and management of the different activities.
The project’s total cost is estimated at UA 25.600 million. It will be jointly financed with resources from the ADF loan and grant amounting to 16.800 million (CFAF 12,563 million) representing 66% of the project’s total cost. The Government of Cameroon will provide the remaining UA 8.80 million.