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Is Cameroon’s Agriculture In Good Or Bad Shape? 

Compiled by Lydie Yuri, Anna Ngoran Labiv & Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong (UYI student on internship)

Cameroon agriculture is not in a bad shape because there is an improvement on the side of foodstuff. But cash crops are in bad shape because many people have abandoned their crops and it is only now that they are thinking of going back to the farms.
Matthew Bedtad Nukemba, Retired Civil Servant, B’da

No Improvement
There is no improvement in agriculture as far as I am seeing things; it is still at the same stage that we left in 1984 in Bamenda.  If you look critically at this moment you see that people are still tilling the soil with hoes and using cutlasses. Government is not respecting her part of the engagement because the Maputo Protocol indicated that 10 percent of the national budget should be spent on agriculture, which I have never seen.

It is like everybody is waiting for manna from heaven before agriculture will be improved. Well, the Head of State has talked of agricultural bank;  if only the money will be centralized, I hope this will not create a big room for corruption and which will end up not improving the agricultural sector.
Peter Shang, Oku Honey, Bamenda 

Land, Funds, Are Problems
Agriculture has improved, yes, but to what limit? Because we see that farmers have been introduced to fertilizers, modern farming methods, but the main problem farmers face has to do with acquiring enough land. In the Northwest, land is a big problem. Some people may want to extend to extensive agriculture but are handicapped by the absence of land.

Another problem is to acquire funds for the extension. Around the Northwest there is no money in circulation, so the average Northwesterner depends on civil servants to get his pay package or crumbs from the table to enable them spread to extended family.  Civil servants also want to engage in agriculture but lack the means to do so. 
Augustine Akienek, Senior Labour Controller, B’da

It’s Declining
Cameroon’s agriculture is in a very bad sate because Government has neglected the major people in the sector. Those in the countryside who produce much of the crops are neglected and living the worst life styles. Like the agriculture show that just passed, very few people left Manyu and many other areas but they are the ones that produce most of the foodstuff.

We had agricultural houses taking care of farmers like FONADER but Government killed it. It was supposed to be the farmers’ bank to give them loans and other incentives to boost production. Cameroon is importing a huge amount of rice but we can produce rice in Cameroon.

Why can’t we have a rice factory in Ndop and where has the coffee factory in the Northwest gone to?  The people in Manyu are producing oil locally and if Government could give them incentives, then I do not think we will have to rely only on PAMOL. The people at the top make benefits while farmers keep on suffering. So agriculture in Cameroon is in a decline while the people at the top keep involving themselves only in politics and campaigns.
Dr. Richard Agbor Enoh, UB Lecturer

Agriculture Needs More Action, Less Talk
I just hope that what IRAD and other agricultural institutions are doing will help agriculture because we Cameroonians are very good in talking and doing nothing. The population is increasing and much has to be done to improve food production. Many of our rural farmers in the fertile places produce much but have no markets to sell these products.

Some unscrupulous people even buy these products at very cheap prices and make huge gains out of the struggles of these farmers. Agriculture is the main occupation in Cameroon and we are told that over 80 percent of Cameroonians are involved in it in one way or the other but yet we still do not have enough to feed the population.
Henry Kam Kah, Buea

More Investment Needed For Agriculture
For us to move on the right path as far as agriculture is concerned, Government needs to pump in more money like they are talking about the creation of Credit Agricole. It is an essential element for the development of agriculture and that started a long time ago with Credit Foncier but the funds were mismanaged.

If there is a follow-up with Credit Agricole, there will be progress in the domain of agriculture. The rural farmers are those feeding the population and they constitute the backbone of the economy and the Government has to do everything to ensure that these rural people benefit what they are due. Farm instruments and land should be made available to these farmers and they should be taught up-to-date farming techniques.
Dr. Ndeh Martin Sango, Buea

Gov’t Needs To Invest More In Agriculture
Agriculture is in a very bad state in Cameroon because the country spends FCFA 500 billion to import food like rice and maize. I think Government is yet to do something substantial to boost agriculture. This sector is so important that it employs more than 80 percent of Cameroonians and if we the youths cannot find jobs in other sectors, then we can be employed in agriculture because it is the backbone of the country.
Mathew Ovat, Buea

Low Level Of Productivity
Looking at the prices of food stuff in the market, we see that the prices are high which shows that the level of agriculture is still low. We have a lot of food going out of the country and I think that the Government should get more involved agricultural production by opening institutions like Cameroon Development Co-operation which could have farms to grow foodstuff like plantains, cocoa and many others.
Ms. Dorothy Forsac Tata

Deplorable
The state of agriculture in Cameroon has been deplorable since independence. During independence we had a stable level of food sufficiency, but about three decades after independence we started entering into a period of food inadequacy.  It has become even more vigorous because during and when we fell into the assessment of the heavily indebted country because of economic crisis we have been described globally as a country suffering from food insufficiency.
Dr. Backe Itoe, Buea

Gov’t Should Subsidize Agriculture
The agro-pastoral show gave an impression that agriculture is flourishing in Cameroon. We had the chance to see the largest foodstuffs and agricultural products on display. However, despite that good image portrayed, agriculture is not encouraged in Cameroon. Few are those youths who wish to be farmers. There are many who are willing to work but do not have the means. This is because, they are aware that there is either too little or no subvention given by government. State officials should see into that.
Missima Yosef, Yaounde

Neglected
The state of agriculture in Cameroon is very bad given that it has been neglected. Government has very little time for it and there are very few agricultural schools in the country, although it constitutes the main pillar of Cameroon’s economy
 Gladys Beri, Yaounde

Neglected
I think that agriculture in Cameroon has been relegated to the backyard. The mere fact that it took 23 years for the organisation of another agro-pastoral show is proof of that. Without agriculture, the population will be disgruntled because a hungry man is an angry man. If Government could put more efforts in promoting the cultivation of both food and cash crops, then development would be achieved. Also Government should encourage the consumption of home and not imported products.
 Sama Yebga, Yaounde

Not In Very Good State
Agriculture in Cameroon is not in a good state because farmers have no money. If government could grant subventions to farmers, then I think many would be encouraged to be better farmers.
By Peter Nkemcechi, Yaounde

Still Very Backward!
Agriculture in Cameroon is very backward because the tools used are outdated. Farmers still use crude hoes, cutlasses and unprocessed seeds. The agro-pastoral show which was supposed to reverse this trend by giving modern tools like tractors to farmers unfortunately gave cutlasses as gifts. In Burkina Faso, there are many cooperatives and even banks meant for agriculturists. Cameroon should follow the example.
 Belo Bouba, Yaounde

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