CNPS ready to invest in wheat cultivation and processing

For several weeks, the state paid special attention to wheat. Although this is not unprecedented, the government is still determined to move from experiments in cultural revival to large-scale transformations. To achieve this goal, the President recently authorized 10.3 billion CFA francs to the Institute for Agricultural Research for Development (Irad). This grant, which will be spread over 5 years, will serve development of wheat production and processing in Cameroon. Or 3 billion in 2022; 2.75 billion in 2023; 3.1 billion in 2024; 1 billion in 2025 and finally 450 million in 2026. Added to this is another package of 23 billion francs that the African Development Bank (AfDB) has just provided to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. According to Gabriel Mbayrobe, the head of this ministerial department will serve primarily to increase production in certain sectors, such as wheat production.

See also: Wheat production and processing: questions about the subsidy provided to Irad

Another government entity could also contribute to the development of the milling sector in Cameroon. This is the National Social Insurance Fund (NSIF). Noel Alain Olivier Mekulu Mwondo Akame, CEO of this government agency responsible for providing benefits to insured workers, recently expressed interest in “We are ready to do it. For example, if there is a major wheat production project, we will start it with great enthusiasm as soon as the President of the Republic asks us to do so. We also do it in other areas with enthusiasm. In doing so, I urge us to ask for a financial contribution to such an initiative, or any other initiative of its kind. We can do it, we can afford it— he admitted to our colleagues from Cameroon Business Today.

In December 2020, as part of the parliamentary session on the adoption of the budget for 2021, Noel Alain Olivier Mekulu Mwondo Akame indicated that the entity for which he is responsible has assets worth 850 billion francs, including 400 billion realizable and free assets (buildings, banks, etc.) and 325 billion in cash, in cash. In addition, dividends received from numerous financial investments of this structure increase almost every year. According to the CEO of CNPS “We started from about seven billion CFA francs four years ago to 20 billion CFA francs today. This means that we have overstated our investment income over the past five years. And in the next 5 years we intend to double themrevealed Noel Alain Olivier to Mekulu Mwondo Akame.

See also: Faced with a deficit, the state will allocate 10 billion to Irad for the production and processing of wheat in Cameroon

This significant financial legacy could be a godsend for Cameroon’s wheat sector, whose development requires the mobilization of significant resources. In his economic note, published in April 2022, Irad already pointed out this shortcoming.”Despite advances in agricultural research, very limited financial resources (…) prevent a large-scale transformation of the wheat value chain in Cameroon. Therefore, it is necessary to develop investment initiatives that will allow our country to gain autonomy over local resources to supply the Cameroonian industry.“explains Irad. As for Gabriel Mbayrobe, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, he even gave up.”For more than 10 years, Minader has been testing wheat in Adamawa in Wassande, in the west in Bangurein, Bangua and Bansoa. Testing continues. But we must admit today that wheat is a very greedy crop for fertilizers. We are required to apply at least 400 kg of fertilizer per hectare, and with the rise in fertilizer prices, you understand that this is not tomorrow’s popularization of wheat cultivation in Cameroon.“, he admitted to Cameroon’s government newspaper Tribune in its March 31 edition.

Recall that according to the International Trade Center, Cameroon spent more than 548 billion francs on wheat imports in the period 2012-2017. In 2020 alone, the country imported 860,000 tons worth 156 billion francs.

Read also: Wheat imports: Irad’s call for local flour