CAMEROON – Cameroon expects an increase in livestock production during the fourth quarter of 2023, with both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year growth expected.

According to a forecast published by Beac (Bank of Central African States), the surge in livestock production during the final quarter of the year was attributed to the rainy season, which stimulated the growth of herbaceous plants, providing essential nutrition for livestock.

In comparison to the fourth quarter of 2022, the projected increase in production was credited to the gradual recovery of the poultry industry.

The sector, which had been significantly affected by avian influenza outbreaks in the Western region, accounted for 80% of the local poultry industry.

In response to the crisis, the government, through a directive from the Minister of Livestock, Dr. Taïga, ordered the implementation of emergency sanitary culling operations in identified outbreak areas.

The directive involved the destruction of affected birds through incineration and burial, all under the supervision of veterinary services with the assistance of law enforcement agencies.

The livestock sector plays a vital role in Cameroon’s economy, contributing 13% to the country’s GDP and employment for more than 30% of the rural population, according to a report from the World Bank.

In recent years, the report revealed that the country has undertaken various initiatives to support its livestock industry.

It unveiled that the Livestock Development Project (PRODEL), a development aimed at improving the productivity of selected livestock production systems and the commercialization of their products in Cameroon, has benefitted over 360,000 livestock producers, including 22% women and 38,350 pastoralists.

The project’s goals include enhancing productivity, developing pastureland, improving animal health infrastructure, and fostering better livestock management practices.

Despite these efforts, the livestock production system in Cameroon faces numerous challenges, including limited access to resources, climate change impacts, health issues, and a lack of organized pastoralist producers.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the situation by disrupting supply chains and causing tensions between farming and grazing populations.

The growing demand for livestock products, driven by a rapidly increasing population and urbanization, underscores the urgency of addressing these challenges.

PRODEL continues to focus on reducing cattle mortality, improving production systems, and enhancing the management of pastoral resources.

It also supports the delivery of better animal health services and fosters local community involvement in the management of pastoral resources.