CAMEROON – Cameroonian commercial bank for small and mid-size companies, Banque camerounaise des petites et moyennes entreprises (BC-PME) recently opened an agricultural financing window.

The window was opened following an agreement signed with Agence des PME, a small and medium-sized enterprises promotion agency, for the management of agricultural and agribusiness transformation and valorization programme – Transfagri.

Transfagri, was launched through a partnership with France and is endowed with a budget of over XAF200 million (US$335,000).

The program will be implemented over a one year period including training and development works. 

According to Agnès Ndoumbè Mandeng, CEO of BC-PME, “the program aims to boost the skills of human resources involved in the specific sectors related to the products to be created, since in the bank’s new business plan, it is required to consider the agribusiness sector as one of the major sectors.”

“This will thus require more human and financial resources,” she added.

New BC-SME offices dedicated to the agricultural and agribusiness sectors will be established in four production areas: Yaoundé, Douala, Bafoussam, and Garoua.

The Bank will focus on five sectors: cereals (wheat, maize, rice, millet, sorghum, beans, soybeans); fish farming, oil palm, pineapple, and poultry.

Depending on the case, the Bank will pre-fund SMEs producing raw materials and post-fund those engaged in distribution or related activities.

In other related news, rice producers in the Far-North of Cameroon are set to receive XAF1.2 bln (US$2m) of infrastructural development by May 2020.

The government will build farm inputs’ storage warehouses for rice producers supervised by Semry rice irrigation project.

The project, funded by the World Bank also plans the construction of offices for water management organizations.

On March 13-14, Fissou Kouma, the general-director of Semry and coordinator of flood prevention programme Pulci, visited the site of the infrastructures.

According to the project drivers and companies working on the construction sites, the works will be delivered within 3 months, by May 2020.