An inter-ministerial team last week sized up rice production potentials in the UNVDA Corporation in Ndop plain.
Within government’s plan to produce 1,200 tonnes of rice annually in a bid to enhance domestic consumption and limit importation, an inter-ministerial team was in Ngoketungia Division, January 12, 2018, to size up potentials in land, production tools and farmers.
On-the-spot, the Minister Delegate in the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT) in charge of Planification, Yaouba Abdoulaye said it is all about the commitment of the government to move rice production from about 100,000 tonnes to 1,200 tonnes. He said it is inconceivable that despite huge potentials which abound, Cameroon still imports 500-600 tonnes of rice each year.
The visiting team was in the installations of the Upper Noun Valley Development Authority (UNVDA) whose General Manager, Eric Andangfung took them round the rice mill, garage and motor pool before visiting the Kungoh rice farm, the Babungo and Bamunka farms, the traditional farm at Menoua, Babessi Sub Division, some collapsed bridges and dams.
Minister Yaouba Abdoulaye took time off to encourage and reassure farmers at the Menoua farms about the government’s preparedness to rise to expectation by increasing rice production for domestic consumption.
The management of UNVDA presented the heights and depths of the agro industry with some 15,000 hectares of land to show for development. It emerged from the outing that the government is ready to multiply by about four, existing land area developed and tonnes of rice to achieve food security in the sector. Cameroon Tribune got it from the agricultural department of UNVDA that the agro industry features about 3,400 hectares of land area developed.
The production forecast in 2017 was 20,000 tons and the major speed brake was the lack of enough liquidity to regularly collect and pay for paddy rice produced by over 14,000 farmers spread in cooperative societies. North West Governor, Adolphe Lele Lafrique accompanied the visiting inter-ministerial team.