In response to news that the government of Cameroon has lost over 9 000 billion FCFA from importing rice, corn, sugar and fish, Greenpeace Africa Forest Campaigner, Sylvie Djacbou, has said:
“It is troubling that a country endowed with a lot of ecological agriculture potential should be importing basic foodstuffs worth billions of FCFA at the detriment of the local economy. This is a reality check for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to get its act together and abandon its reliance on imports.
“Cameroon produces rice in the Far North, West and North West regions, but national demand far outweighs supply. During the 2011 Agropastoral Show, President Paul Biya promised to curb excessive dependence on foreign importation of basic foodstuff, but there are still no measures to promote sustainable farming in Cameroon.
“Greenpeace Africa believes that the latest scandal presents an opportunity to revive and encourage traditional and ecological farming practices. This form of farming enabled Cameroon to export basic foodstuff until 1975. This will also strengthen food security and long term sustainability of Cameroon’s agricultural sector.
“For many decades, the government has been paying lip service to reduce food imports and improving and modernising the agricultural sector in Cameroon. Government initiatives like the Societe de Transformation du Manioc de Sangmelima (SOTRAMAS) were being designed to stimulate local production but Cameroonians are yet to see any benefits. It would be detrimental and catastrophic for the government to continue with business as usual.”
Nchemty M. Ozongashu, Communications Officer – Greenpeace Africa, [email protected], 677-345-612