Improving livelihoods in Cameroon’s cotton basin through sustainable agricultural practices

Project description

Title: Support Program for Rural Development in cotton regions of Cameroon (ABC-PADER)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union
Country: Cameroon
Partner: Société de Développement du Coton du Cameroun (SODECOTON)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER)
Overall term: 2020 to 2024



Cameroon's cotton basin, which includes the Adamawa, North and Far North regions, is considered the area with the highest rate of poverty in Cameroon. It is undergoing a demographic crisis that has led to conflicts over access to natural resources and significant internal migratory movements. This together with a progressive loss of soil fertility hinders the sustainable and economic use of productive land and resulted in a security crisis and unclear land rights. Women and young people are particularly affected.

In the cotton basin area, about 80 to 85 per cent of the population lives from agriculture and livestock. Of this population, almost a third lives directly or indirectly from the spin-offs of the cotton sector. Infertile soils account for 25 to 30 per cent of arable land (about 1.7 million hectares) and the increase in population has led to a decrease in the amount of land that can be used for cultivation. This situation not only causes conflicts between farmers and herders and exerts strong pressure on forests and parks, but also has repercussions for climate change.


The economic performance of private actors in agriculture and livestock production has improved by using production systems that are adapted to climate change.



The ABC-PADER programme is being implemented through the following fields of action:

  1. The promotion of land tenure security and sustainable land management, which aims to ensure the regulated and secure use of land, pasture, water and forest resources in eight selected municipalities. The ultimate goal is to prevent conflicts, promote investment, sustainably increase productivity in agriculture and livestock and generate higher incomes.
  2. Facilitating access to financing for producers and breeders and promote entrepreneurship.
  3. Improving productivity and sustainability of cotton, rotational food crops and livestock farming by considering climate effects. This field of action also includes the digitalisation of information-sharing and capacity-building for producer and breeder organisations.
  4. Promoting inter-institutional dialogue through setting up suitable consultation frameworks and dialogue forums. In addition, providing capacity building for public actors, the private sector and the civil society in the fields of agriculture and livestock
  5. Providing agro-pastoral vocational training to extend the range of vocational training courses in line with the needs of the agriculture and livestock sector. This will improve the employability of young people and improve the capacities of vocational schools in terms of gender and digitalisation.

Last update: April 2021