At its regular meeting in Abidjan on Wednesday, January 20, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a €89.291-million loan to finance the development of an Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (AVC-DP) in Cameroon.
The project will be implemented in the Central Basin, which covers the Centre, East and South Regions, and the Littoral Basin, which covers the Littoral and South-West Regions. It will focus on the elimination of constraints on the competitiveness of three targeted crop sectors (oil palm, plantain and pineapple) by leveraging infrastructure, crops, youth entrepreneurship and coordination to improve the competitiveness of the three crops value chains. It will also create jobs and sustainably improve stakeholders incomes in targeted crop sectors. It is expected to boost inclusive growth by creating jobs, especially for youths, as well as enhance food and nutritional security.
The Bank will support the development of the plantain, pineapple and oil palm value chains, as a complement to the operations of the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD, the European Union (EU) and the French Development Agency (AFD), which target other crop sectors (cassava, sorghum, maize, onion, fish, milk and pigs).
The rural infrastructure development component of the project is targeting the development of 1,000 kilometres of rural roads, 30 warehouses, 15 rural markets, 30 km of electricity networks, 30 drinking water supply (DWS) systems, and a quality control laboratory for agricultural products.
Under its crop sector development, the project will provide support for the establishment of processing units, institution-building for farmer organizations, technical guidance, facilitation of the interface with service providers, training, research support for the production of quality seeds and seedlings, and the establishment of a crop sector development fund to finance value chains.
The youth agricultural entrepreneurship component is expected to deliver nearly 600 businesses in the agro-business sector for approximately 1,500 young graduates (40% of them women) as well as ensure access to credit.
The AVC-DP is aligned with the Bank's Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022) and is consistent with the 2015-2020 Country Strategy as well as the Bank's action plan for African agricultural transformation.
An estimated 242,000 people, 50% of them women, are expected to benefit directly from the project. These include stakeholders operating within organized structures (cooperatives and networks of farmer organizations) that engage in the targeted value chains, as well as young graduates attracted by agro-business. The project is expected to generate an estimated annual income increase of CFAF 818,000 per household and estimated annual income gains of over CFAF 6,000,000 for young entrepreneurs. The indirect beneficiaries, composed of the rural communities in the project area, are estimated at one million persons.
The project will be implemented in five years. It is estimated at €115.081 million (CFAF 75.489 billion), jointly financed by the AfDB (77.6%), the Cameroon Government (21.5%), and beneficiaries (0.9%).