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  • 1. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Training Workshop on Sustainable Modernization of Agricultural and Rural Transformation (SMART) in Africa : Central Africa 3-7 August, 2009, Yaounde, Cameroon Plantain (and Banana) Production in Cameroon: « Agricultural Best Practice » David A. Mbah, PhD [email_address]
  • 2. Natural Assets (1) <ul><li>Population: 18,000,000 inhabitants (Africa in miniature ecologically and culturally) </li></ul><ul><li>Area: 475,442 km²: </li></ul><ul><li>- 44.4% forest </li></ul><ul><li>- 32.4% high plateau and guinea savannah </li></ul><ul><li>- 21.1% sudano-sahelian savannah </li></ul>
  • 3. Natural Assets (2) <ul><li>Arable land: 9.2 million ha of which </li></ul><ul><li>- 7.2 million ha are cultivable </li></ul><ul><li>- 2 million ha are pastures </li></ul><ul><li>* 26% of cultivable area is cultivated </li></ul><ul><li>* 0.9 ha is available for each inhabitant of the agricultural population </li></ul><ul><li>Potential irrigable land: 240,000 ha; 17% irrigated </li></ul><ul><li>Renewable freshwater resources: 16,726 m3, 74% abstracted for agriculture </li></ul>
  • 4. Natural Assets (3) <ul><li>Five agro-ecological zones: </li></ul><ul><li>. Humid forest, monomodal rainfall </li></ul><ul><li>. 2,500 – 4 000 mm/yr </li></ul><ul><li>. 28°C </li></ul><ul><li>. Production system: plantains/bananas, palm oil, </li></ul><ul><li>cassava, cocoa, pepper </li></ul><ul><li>. Humid forest, bimodal rainfall </li></ul><ul><li>. 1,500 – 2 000 mm/yr </li></ul><ul><li>. 23°C </li></ul><ul><li>. Production System: cassava, maize, palm oil, cocoa, </li></ul><ul><li>pineaples </li></ul>
  • 5. Naural Assets (4) <ul><li>. High Plateau Savannah </li></ul><ul><li>. 1,500- 2000 mm/yr </li></ul><ul><li>. 180 days rainy season, </li></ul><ul><li>. 20°C </li></ul><ul><li>. Production system: Maize, beans (dry), potatoes (irish), coffee, vegetables, cattle </li></ul><ul><li>. Guinea Savannah </li></ul><ul><li>. 1,500 mm/yr </li></ul><ul><li>. 150 days rainy season </li></ul><ul><li>. 22°C </li></ul><ul><li>. Production system: Sorghum, millet, maize, yams, potatoes (irish), cattle </li></ul>
  • 6. <ul><li>Semi-a(rid (Sudano-sahelian) </li></ul><ul><li>. 400-1200 mm/yr </li></ul><ul><li>. 90 - 120 days rainy season </li></ul><ul><li>. 29°C </li></ul><ul><li>. Production System: Sorghum, millet, cow pea, onion, cotton, cattle, sheep,goats </li></ul>
  • 7. Social Environment <ul><li>Health: </li></ul><ul><li>. HIV/AIDS: 5.5% (15-49 yr age group) </li></ul><ul><li>. Life Expectancy: 46 yr for males </li></ul><ul><li> 47 yr for females </li></ul><ul><li>- Under 5 malnutrition: 15%(1990-95)-18%(2000-2006) </li></ul><ul><li>. Under 5 mortality: 139 %o (1990) – 149%o (2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Education: </li></ul><ul><li>. Primary school completion rate: 56%(1990)-62% (2005) </li></ul><ul><li>. Gender parity(ratio in primary and secondary schools): 84 (2005). </li></ul><ul><li>Adult literacy rate(15 yr plus): 67.9 % </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty: </li></ul><ul><li>- 53.3%(59.9% rural)(1996) – 40.2%(49.9% rural)(2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Note: Health indicators are all red </li></ul>
  • 8. Economy (1) <ul><li>Green Revolution </li></ul><ul><li>. Launched at National agro-pastoral show at Buea in 1973, </li></ul><ul><li>. Periodically from Province to Province within the « Production and Productivity Plan »: Food Self Sufficiency </li></ul><ul><li>. 2 nd 5 year plan: « Farmers Plan » </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Modernization of agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>2. Training in agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>3. Structural changes in agriculture and rural environment </li></ul>
  • 9. Economy (2) <ul><li>Attention paid to: </li></ul><ul><li>- farming technologies including seed selection </li></ul><ul><li>- use of fertilizers and pesticides </li></ul><ul><li>- popularization of most productive methods </li></ul><ul><li>- improvement of farm to market communications </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of: </li></ul><ul><li>- Food Development Authority(MIDEVIV) </li></ul><ul><li>- Grains Office(« Office Cerealier ») </li></ul><ul><li>- Rice Production Corporations (Corporation for Expansion and </li></ul><ul><li>Modernization of Rice Production, SEMRY, UNVDA, Mbo Plain Rice </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivation Development Authority) </li></ul><ul><li>- Wheat Production Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>- MAISCAM(Private) </li></ul><ul><li>- Sugar Compaines (CAMSUCO, SOSUCAM) </li></ul>
  • 10. <ul><li>Economy (3) </li></ul><ul><li>- SOCAPALM (in additon to CDC, PAMOL) </li></ul><ul><li>- SODECOTON </li></ul><ul><li>- SODEPA (Meat Plan, 1974) </li></ul><ul><li>- Veterinary Phamaceautical Office (OPV) </li></ul><ul><li>- FONADER: National Fund for Rural Development (1974) </li></ul><ul><li>- Credit Agricole(replaced FONADER) </li></ul><ul><li>- The University Centre, Dschang (Land Grant Model?) (for training of Senior and Intermediate Cadres in agriculture)(1977) </li></ul><ul><li>- Reform of Cooperative Movement </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of Economic Crisis (1986) on the National Agro- pastoral shows </li></ul>
  • 11. <ul><li>Economy (4) </li></ul><ul><li>Contribution to the GDP </li></ul>
  • 12. <ul><li>Economy(5) </li></ul><ul><li>700 million (2000 constant USD) in 1971 to ≈ 2,500 million USD in 2006(i. e. ≈ 3.6 times in 35 years) </li></ul><ul><li>Its share of the GDP reduced from </li></ul><ul><li>≈ 30% in 1971 to ≈ 20% in 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>. « Every Cameroonian has enough to eat »(Biya, 1984 ) </li></ul><ul><li>Contribution to export earnings: ≈ 25.2% </li></ul><ul><li>Ave annual growth rate of agriculture: 3.8% (2000-2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Employment (agricultural): 60.3% with women constituting 55.4% of labour force </li></ul><ul><li>The growth rate of food production is 3.3% (1990-92 to 2003-05) while population growth rate is 2.5% </li></ul><ul><li>Food per person growth rate = 0.8% </li></ul>
  • 13. 1. Plantains(& Bananas: more GR attention) <ul><li>Plantains constitute one of the major staple foods in Cameroon and they have the highest production (tonnage/year) while bananas are cultivated more for export than for food. However, some banana varieties are components of some dishes in Northwest and West Regions. Eight (8) (4 of the 5/6 agro-ecological zones) of the 10 Regions produce plantains/bananas at varying levels. Both plantains and bananas are affected by low productivity and diseases/pests. </li></ul>
  • 14. 2. Problems solved/being solved <ul><li>Low productivity levels </li></ul><ul><li>Susceptibility to diseases/pests of several types </li></ul><ul><li>Food insecurity (in rural and urban areas) </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty (particularly rural) </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign exchange (export of bananas) </li></ul>
  • 15. 3. The Process <ul><li>The African Centre for Bananas and Plantain Research (CARBAP) and the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development(IRAD), both at Njombe, generate technologies/knowledge as follows. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><li>- Varietal improvement of plantains and bananas </li></ul><ul><li>- Agronomic practices/production systems </li></ul><ul><li>- Pathology (diseases and pests) </li></ul><ul><li>- Post-harvest problems </li></ul><ul><li>- Economics </li></ul>
  • 16. <ul><li>Hence, the following technologies have been developed: </li></ul><ul><li>On varietal improvement, major results include: </li></ul><ul><li>(a) 20 varieties selected for participatory evaluation under different ecological conditions </li></ul><ul><li>(b) Collection at Njombe of more than 700 banana/plantain varieties (genebank) constitutes the most important genebank on bananas/plantains worldwide. </li></ul><ul><li>(c) Multiplication in vitro from auxillary buds </li></ul>
  • 17. <ul><li>2. On agronomic practices/production systems, major results include: </li></ul><ul><li>(a) Simple, suitable, practical and rapid in vivo multiplication techniques, PIF (Plants Issus de Fragments de tige »)( plants from stalk fragments ), for production of large quantities of planting material within 3-4 months. </li></ul><ul><li>(b) Appropriate substrates for handling of PIF plantlets during the nursery phase in different agro-ecological zones. </li></ul><ul><li>(c) Technical itineraries for the management of PIF plantlets at the nursery phase. </li></ul><ul><li>(d) Fertilisation combinations and recommendations for different agro-ecological zones. </li></ul><ul><li>(e) Soil-plant analyses of some production zones with possible applicability in similar ecologies </li></ul>
  • 18. <ul><li>3. On Pathology, major results include: </li></ul><ul><li>(a) Phytosanitary problems are essentially cercosporoses, disease of the cigar end, black weevil and nematodes. </li></ul><ul><li>(b) Viral problems </li></ul><ul><li>(c) Strategies to fight the black spots of banana plants </li></ul><ul><li>(d) Strategies to fight diseases on banana fruits (rotting of crown and disease of the cigar end </li></ul><ul><li>€ Strategies to fight against black weevil of bananas </li></ul><ul><li>(f) Strategies to fight against nematodes </li></ul>
  • 19. <ul><li>On post-harvest problems, major results include, </li></ul><ul><li>(a) Evaluation of physico-chemical characteristics of different cultivars and hybrids of bananas </li></ul><ul><li>(b) Aptitude of bananas for drying and conservation </li></ul><ul><li>(c) Micro-nutrients: carotenoids, provitamine A of bananas and plantains </li></ul><ul><li>On economics of the banana and plantain commodities, major results include: </li></ul><ul><li>(a) Functioning of the supply of plantains to the city of Douala </li></ul><ul><li>(b) Impact of the dissemination of the innovations. </li></ul>
  • 20. <ul><li>(II) Technology dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>Four (4) PIF varieties have been disseminated nationwide </li></ul><ul><li>Diffusion of improved genetic material to many countries (within Central, West and North Africa) through their NARS </li></ul><ul><li>Agro-industries (note that the CDC, Delmonte, etc, import vitroplants despite the availability of same very close to them!). </li></ul>
  • 21. <ul><li>Transformation/conservation </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of plantains are transformed into plantain « chips » all over the country. </li></ul><ul><li>Bread making can include up 15% plantain (to replace wheat) without noticeable change in taste. </li></ul><ul><li>(IV) Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Demand is very high in the cities: trucks transport plantains from local markets to the consumption centres. Many women are involved in the trade which is also cross border </li></ul><ul><li>Bananas are essentially exported </li></ul>
  • 22. 5. Achievement/and impact <ul><li>Six hundred thousand (600,000) farmers have adopted at least some of the technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Of the 4 PIF varieties (CRPVP 39, FHIA 21, FHIA 17, BITA 3) disseminated, 91% of the farmers prefer FHIA 21 for its attractive phenotype and rapid marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Requests from the NARS of Central, West and North African countries </li></ul>
  • 23. 6. Why best practice? <ul><li>Work on major food crop which is important in the food security portfolio of the country </li></ul><ul><li>Collection (for conservation and use) of the genetic material of bananas and plantains </li></ul><ul><li>Development of technologies within the agro-ecological zones </li></ul><ul><li>Work (evaluation) with the farmers to guarantee choice/development of appropriate technology </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership: National Research Institute (IRAD) and Regional Research Centre (CARBAP: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo) which facilitates regional diffusion of results and cooperation. Funding is essentially by the European Union although Government of Cameroon is expected to contribute as well. </li></ul>
  • 24. 7. Determinants of Success (1) <ul><li>Development/evaluation of technologies (varieties) for different agro-ecological zones. </li></ul><ul><li>Crop of major food interest (plantains) and crop of economic interest (bananas). </li></ul><ul><li>Sustained funding (particularly by the EU). </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction of national scientists with foreign scientists at the Centre. </li></ul>
  • 25. 7. Determinant of Success (2): Implication of Policies, Programmes, Strategies (1) <ul><li>Vision of Rural Environment sought: </li></ul><ul><li>. « …. Not any longer an essentially agricutlural village…. but lively rural communities where there will be a large tertiary sector population engaged in trade and services, a secondary sector population engaged in small scale industry and even a residential population obtaining its consumer products locally…. » (Ahidjo, 1973) </li></ul><ul><li>« I form the wish that this Buea Agricultural Show, opening the promising series of encounters of the same kind soon to be organized periodically over all our provinces, will be the … sign of sure success of the « Green Revolution » in the Cameroons » (Ahidjo, 1973) </li></ul>
  • 26. 7. Determinant of Success (2): Implication of Policies, Programmes, Strategies (2) <ul><li>« Our prime concern…. is to ensure that our population has sufficient food » (Ahidjo, 1974) </li></ul><ul><li>« The Development of our agriculture is a must… » (Ahidjo, 1974) </li></ul><ul><li>« Green Revolution is « development by ourselves for our selves…. we rely first on our efforts foreign aid being only a supplement to the national effort (Ahidjo, 1977). </li></ul>
  • 27. 7. Determinant of Success (2) Implication of Policies, Programmes, Strategies (3) <ul><li>Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>(1) « a coherent and long-term policy » </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Framework for success of the Green Revolution: Structures were set up to support the policies, programmes and activities adopted by the government. The structures were « tailored to the achievement of the targets of the Green Revolution ». The structures included FONADER/CREDIT AGRICOLE to provide funding. </li></ul>
  • 28. <ul><li>7 (2) (3) continued </li></ul><ul><li>(3) Programmes of the Green Revolution executed by the Ministry of Agriculture, transformed to suit the purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>« But finally it is the farmer himself who principally shoulders responsibility for the success of the Green Revolution » (Ahidjo, 1974) </li></ul><ul><li>(4) Evaluation and Re-orientation of the GR: Agro-pastoral Show, Maroua, 1988(Biya) </li></ul>
  • 29. 8. Constraints <ul><li>The working environment for Cameroon scientists on banana and plantain research is not the best (early retirements without corresponding recruitments, low and irregular payment of salaries) </li></ul><ul><li>Some agro-industries (Cameroon Development Corporation, Delmonte) in the banana sub-sector still import vitroplants when same are produced at nearby CARBAP. It is thought that this situation results from agricultural policy making insufficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>The absence of farmer organizations for bananas and/or plantains may not be in their (farmers) best interest. </li></ul>
  • 30. 9. Conclusion <ul><li>While work on plantains/bananas can be a good example of inter-African sub-regional cooperation/integration in science, technology and innovation, host government obligations , including funding, need be adequately met. Organization of farmers and the transformation/processing sector need to be considered. </li></ul>
  • 31. References <ul><li>CARBAP (Mouliom Pefoura A.) 2008. Note de Présentation du CARBAP et de ses Programmes de recherche à l’occasion de la visite du Bureau Sous-Régionale/Afrique Centrale de la CARBAP, C.E.A., CARBAP, Njombe, Cameroon </li></ul><ul><li>CARBAP. ht tp://www.carbapafrica.org </li></ul><ul><li>CDC. 2008. http://www.cdc-cameroon.com/palmspage.thm </li></ul><ul><li>Dewbre J. and Battisti A. Borot de. 2008. Agriculture Progress in Cameroon, Ghana and Mali: Why it happened and how to sustain it. OECD: http://www.oecdbookshop.org/oecd/display </li></ul><ul><li>IRAD. http://www.irad-cameroon.org </li></ul><ul><li>Republic of Cameroon. 1973 – 1978. Collected Presidential Speeches (Amadou Ahidjo), National Assembly(Secretariat), pp. 5-11, 200- 206, 504-517 </li></ul><ul><li>Republic of Cameroon. 1983-1988. Speeches and Interviews of President Paul Biya, SOPECAM, pp. 59-68, 255-260. </li></ul><ul><li>World Bank. 2008. Agriculture for Development. In : World Development Report </li></ul>

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