Increased productivity and resource conservation simultaneously - through rural development in Cameroon
Title: Rural Development in Cameroon
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Cameroonian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER)
Overall term: 2016 to 2020
Due to its geographical location and ecological diversity, Cameroon has considerable potential for agriculture and livestock. Agriculture makes a crucial contribution to economic development. It accounts for over 20 per cent of the primary sector in gross domestic product (GDP) and 55 per cent of export earnings. It also provides the largest share of active employment. The company structures are characterised by small-scale family farms.
Nevertheless, overall yields are low and marketing channels are seasonal. Livestock farming is directly affected by the loss of natural pasture resources resulting from human impact and climate change. Likewise, there is also a lack of places where animals can drink. Climate change reduces yields and makes cultivation and land use planning more difficult. Overall, more than half of the rural population is considered poor. Food insecurity affects more than one fifth of rural households (around 22 percent). Malnutrition in women and chronic undernourishment in children are widespread.
Rural development is an area of focus in Cameroonian politics. Nevertheless, the potential in production and livestock has not been exploited very much so far. Frequent use is made of traditional knowledge and experience which have not been adapted very much to the changed economic and ecological conditions. The productivity of agriculture and livestock in the regions and Adamaoua is very low and non-resource efficient.
The productivity of agriculture and livestock in the North Region and Adamaoua has increased, taking into account resource-saving measures.
The programme works in Adamaoua and the Northern Region with different approaches:
- Improvement of state coordination
The project team supports its partner ministries in promoting cooperation between the line ministries and their regional directorates for coordinating rural development measures. The focus is on the development, establishment and implementation of land use planning. The regional authorities will be enabled to independently disseminate municipal approaches and to standardise them at the relevant authorities.
- Vocational education and training in agriculture and livestock
Improving vocational education and training in agriculture and livestock will increase technical, business and nutritional skills. This is mainly done by strengthening the capacity of rural development training centres and educational facilities, including the regional centre for the professionalisation of agricultural and livestock farming (Centre Régional d’Appui à la Professionnalisation Agropastorale - CRPA), as well as the state agricultural colleges and private training centres. The project advises them on the development of adapted initial and advanced training models and modular curricula so that they can design and expand their qualification opportunities as needed.
- Land use planning at community level
At the micro level, implementation is to be steered according to jointly established land use plans. Expert advice includes land use planning at the community level and its implementation, as well as the sustainable management of natural resources by the producers and livestock keepers on their land. The starting point of the promotion measures is the participatory planning of use zones for agriculture, horticulture and livestock farming.
- Application of adapted methods and techniques in production and processing
The support is intended to expand the capacities of producers and livestock farmers. This changes the practice of small-scale farming and helps them to earn more income by further processing their produce. Based on this, the proposed methods and technologies include approaches that can be used to improve production in a manner that saves resources and is adapted to the climate.
The consulting firm GFA Consulting Group provides support for the project's implementation.