The Minister Delegate at the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Mr Paul Tasong, and the French Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E Thierry Marchand, officially launched the Food Security Support Project in Rural Areas of Cameroon (SECAL) in Yaounde on Friday 15 December 2023.
Funded to the tune of CFAF 10.5 billion by the Agence Française de Développement through the reserve funds of the third Debt Reduction and Development Contract, the SECAL Project is one of the responses to the security crises and inflationary tensions caused by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war, which have seriously eroded the achievements of certain actions taken by the Government in fighting against food insecurity in Cameroon. The aim of its interventions is to support the public authorities in the successful implementation of the Rural Sector Development Strategy supported by the NDS30.
This new project aims to make a lasting contribution to job creation, inclusive growth and food security in the country. This will be achieved by improving the ecosystem of rural businesses identified in the various production basins. Its implementation will, among other things: boost the productivity and production of agricultural and agri-food products in rural areas; improve the range of financial services adapted to rural entrepreneurs; support the resilience of food and nutrition systems in rural areas; and increase the availability and accessibility of agricultural products, as well as the storage and marketing of these products in rural areas.
The implementation of this major project, which will run from 2024 to 2026, will be based on the three existing public programmes and projects, namely ACEFA, AFOP and TRANSFAGRI. This joint approach “aims at strengthening the coherence of interventions in the field and achieving a greater leverage effect in the response to food and nutrition security problems”, said the Minister Delegate at MINEPAT.
According to the French Ambassador to Cameroon, the implementation of this project, which came about during the last official visit of the French Head of State to Cameroon in July 2022, is the result of Emmanuel Macron’s desire to support the Cameroonian government’s efforts in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, “it is all about building up Cameroon’s agricultural capacity, not only to feed its population, but also to export its surplus production to neighbouring countries”, stressed Thierry Marchand.