Cameroon: 4.5 million cocoa and coffee seedlingsmade available for producers in 2017

(Ecofin Agency) – The Government of Cameroon, through its various branches responsible for promoting the cultivation of cocoa and coffee, will make available to producers a cargo of 4.5 million seedlings during the 2017 crop season, which was officially launched March 10, 2017 in the town of Buéa, the capital of the South-West region.

According to Minister of Agriculture Henri Eyébé Ayissi, the cargo will be comprised of 2 millioncocoa seedlings and 2.5 million coffee seedlings. These will be distributed free of charge to producers by the Statein an initiative expected to help renew existing cocoa and coffee stocks, which are aging and, consequently, decreasingly productive.

It bears recallingthat producers have often claimed the lack of availableplanting material to be one of the obstacles to the development of agriculture in Cameroon. For instance, following the disastrous 2012-2013 coffee season (total production: 16,000 tons), theInter-Professional Cocoa and Coffee Council (CICC)launched, in January 2014, in three of Cameroon’s production zones (West, East and Littoral regions) theTargeted Emergency Programme to revive Coffee Cultivation (Purc-café).

Purc-café’s aim to create 600 hectares of new farms annually over three years unfortunately could not be realized, chiefly due to the unavailability of seedlings. According to the CICC, which had requested a quantity of 780,000 coffee seedlings from the national seedling programme, only 75,000 seedlingswere made available to Purc-café, representing just under 10% of the demand.

Relaunched and scaled up in 2016, Purc-café is expected to supply a “record cargo” of two million coffee seedlings in 2017, as announced by CICC Executive Secretary Omer Gatien Malédy one year ago during a ceremony in Yaoundé.

Brice R. Mbodiam

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