Improving livelihoods in Cameroon’s cotton basin through sus-tainable agricultural practices

Project description

Title: Support Program for Rural Development in cotton regions of Cameroon (ABC-PADER)
Commissioned by: The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)​​​​​​​
Co-funded by: European Union​​​​​​​
Country: Cameroon
Partner: Cameroon Cotton Development Company (SODECOTON)
Lead executing agency: The 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. About 80 to 85 per cent of the population lives from agriculture and livestock and almost one third lives directly or indirectly from the spin-offs of the cotton sector.

The region is undergoing demographic change 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. Women and young people are particularly affected. 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 introduction of modern agricultural practices adapted to climate change in Cameroon’s cotton regions is improving the economic performance of private actors in the agriculture and livestock sectors.



The ABC-PADER programme aims to:

  • Promote land tenure security and sustainable land management, by ensuring the regulated and secure use of land, pasture, water and forest resources in some eight selected municipalities. The goal is to prevent conflicts, promote investment, sustainably increase productivity in agriculture and livestock and generate higher incomes.
  • Facilitate access to financing for producers and breeders and promote entrepreneurship.
  • Improve the productivity and sustainability of cotton, rotational food crops and livestock farming by considering climate effects. In addition, it promotes the digitalisation of information-sharing and capacity-building for producer and breeder organisations.
  • Establish sector policies and inter-institutional dialogue to capacitate public actors, the private sector and civil society in the fields of agriculture and livestock. This includes adequate consultation frameworks and dialogue forums for sectoral policies.
  • Provide agro-pastoral vocational training and broaden vocational training offers to meet 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: Oktober 2022

Additional information