Some 17 Common Initiative Groups specialized in agro pastoral activities have been handed cheques worth FCFA 71 million.
The ceremony at the Chamber of Agriculture in Yaounde on July 26, 2016 was part of the co-financing agreement of the Programme, for the Improvement of Competitiveness of Family Agro-Pastoral farms, ACEFA piloted by the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries with funding from the French Debt Reduction and Development Contract, C2D.
Most of the beneficiaries were selected by the Divisional Project Commission on the basis of their convincing cocoa and livestock (poultry and piggery) farming projects. Grants issued to producer groups range from 500,000 FCFA to 6 million FCFA. Professional agro-pastoral organisations benefit grants worth 5 million FCFA to 30 million as grants. The National Coordinator of the support scheme, Bouba Moumini cautioned beneficiaries on the need to use the funds as was requested for.
The common initiative groups from the Lekie Division of the Centre Division were told that changing their livelihoods largely depended on how well they will put the acquired funds to use. It is the second time farmer groups from the division are benefitting from the investment schemes. The financing is expected to improve productivity, modernise their farms, increase their revenue and improve their livelihoods. The ACEFA project went operational in 2008-2012 with the pilot phase in Adamawa, North, West, South and South West Regions.
The second phase of the project kick-started in 2014-2016 and now covers all the ten regions of the country. Over 2,000 producer groups have benefitted from the scheme, with 3,000 young people receiving training in agro pastoral activities with 1,081 employed in the sector. It also funds research on soil conservation in the northern part of the country. Over 23 billion FCFA has been earmarked as funds for 5,200 projects for the second phase of the project for the second phase of the project.