CAMEROON – The European Union has marked the completion of the XAF13.11 billion (US$23.7m) Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Program (SAPEP) in Cameroon with the launch of mini dairy processing plants in the Northern region of the country.

The dairies located in Maroua, Garoua, Ngaoundéré, and Meiganga will undertake milk processing, expanding the regions offering from fresh milk to pasteurized milk, yogurt, table butter, ice cream, and cheese, among other products.

According to reports by Business in Cameroon, EU has injected XAF6.5 billion (US$11.77m) in the dairy program, boosting the country’s daily milk processing capacity by 2,000 litres.

In addition to that, the project will ensure availability of nutritional products to the locals while creating about 120 permanent employment positions and hundreds of indirect jobs in the four regions.

The dairy support program is the last component of SAPEP, with the other components focusing on crop diversification in cotton producing areas and reviving the cocoa-coffee sector.

As the SAPEP comes to an end, EU in partnership with the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, have provided XAF12.7 bln (US$23m) to support the agroecological transition program ABC-PADER in the country.

The said program is aimed at improving the economic performance of private actors in the agriculture and livestock sector by promoting production systems adapted to climate change.

It also aims to strengthen the capacities of key players in this sector, particularly in aspects related to land and natural resource management, to preserve the environment.

Implemented in the three northern regions of Cameroon i.e. Far North, North, and Adamaoua, the main beneficiaries of this program are small producers, breeders, processors, and agro-pastoral entrepreneurs in the cotton basin of Cameroon.

The program, which gives priority to women and the youth, will end in December 2024.

The European Union has also supported other sectors in the country, with the organization recently extending the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) programme by 2 years, to support the banana sector weakened by the covid-19 health crisis and the security crisis experienced in the country.

The program was launched in 2013 with an estimated budget of XAF31.6 billion (US$51.9 million).

BAM aims to modernize banana cultivation by introducing the use of equipment such as generators and irrigation systems. The programme also plans to modernize and extend the fruit terminal of the Port of Douala.

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