World Bank provides US$200 million to strengthen irrigation services in Cameroon

CAMEROON – The World Bank has approved a US$200m credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to support Cameroon’s agricultural production in the Valley of Logone, part of the Lake Chad basin.

The project dubbed Valorization of Investments in the Valley of the Logone (VIVA Logone), seeks to support regional water security and governance of the water resources, mainly through rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage infrastructure and support to water users’ associations.

Also, the project will promote agriculture and agribusiness production, while implement a transformational plan of SEMRY and strengthen public services.

In addition, improved flood management, including the early warning system in 300 km, would benefit the residents of the Logone Valley, both in Cameroon and Chad.

A series of factors, ranging from ecological fragility to violence-related insecurity, have forced Cameroon’s agricultural sector to low productivity and low-production subsistence agriculture, particularly in the Far North.

Irrigation is fundamental to ensure food security and contribute to reducing the risk of conflicts in this Sudano-Sahelian agroecological zone which is the most ecologically fragile and the most vulnerable to climatic shocks.

“The development of the Logone Valley plays an important role in the resilience of vulnerable communities, livelihoods and ecosystems, including their ability to better cope and adapt to the impact of climatic shocks,” said Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Cameroon.

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The support is in addition to World Bank’s recently approved US$100m to the West African country, channelled towards promoting digital inclusion and use of digital solutions in the agriculture sector.

The project aims to reduce the geographic and societal digital divides affecting primarily rural areas; and facilitate the implementation of data-driven solutions to boost innovation in the agriculture sector.

Smallholder farmers and producer organizations will be provided with support to promote the adoption of innovations developed by agritech startups.

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At the macro level, the project will support increased economic growth, productivity, and job creation, both within the digital and agricultural sectors and through spill over effects on other productive sectors.

It has three main components, the first one will enable strategy, policy, and regulation for digital inclusion and transformation.

The second one will focus on digital connectivity and inclusion and the third one will facilitate the implementation of data-driven solutions in the Agricultural sector.

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