By Haruna Mohammadou
|Maize section of the show|
Agriculture is the only reliable source of income to over 80% of the population of Babessi Council area in Ngoketunjia of the North West Region. Yet, access to loans and credits is the major handicap. In a bit to solve this perennial problem, the mayor of Babessi council has revealed that his council is determined to set up a farmer’s bank to sustain farming activities. To this, the Father/Initiator of Mini Agropastoral Shows in Cameroon, Choh Isah Buba made the revelation on December 5 at the council esplanade in Babessi during this year’s mini agropastoral and forestry show better known as farmers’ feast. The quality of prizes that were handed to farmers also clearly demonstrated that the mayor of Babessi is not a man to pigeon-hole with when it comes to the promotion of agriculture, forestry and handicraft activities. It was a farmer’s feast in its true sense.
Harping on the importance of a farmers Bank, Choh Isah said that it will lead to an increase in production as
well as bridge the gab between farmers and access to
pre-financing which is the major problem in rural areas. According to the
mayor, the putting in place of a farmer’s bank will ensure food security,
improve the livelihood of the population and above all, contribute
significantly to sustainable development.
|Chairs made of bamboo exhibited at the show|
The quality and quantity of farm products that were exhibited to the public confirmed the mayor’s description of Babessi council area as the breadbasket for the North West Region. In his speech, the mayor of Babessi, Choh Isah Buba was very categorical that for the second generation agricultural policy to make its mark in Cameroon, government need to embark on the construction of farms to market roads, make available improved seedlings, fertilizers and chemicals, train more extension workers to support farmers in modern techniques on how to increase yields to ensure food sufficiency. He thanked the ministry of agriculture and rural development for supporting the farmers’ show.
Farm produce of various varieties were on display beginning with cereals such as rice both the
short grains , maize, groundnuts, beans(white, black, red, MIDENO, Meringue)
coffee, and tubers such as ginger, cassava, Ibo-coco, white yams, collocasia,
plantains, sugarcane and vegetables such as okra, dried cow-piece, huckleberry,
cabbage, tomatoes, yellow pepper. Forest product such as bush pepper, honey,
beewax and others were also displayed.
|Kuela Valery SDO for Ngoketunjia|
Yet, l Choh Isa Buba says if more impetus is injected into the sector it will curb rural exodus which in turn leads to the rampant banditry witnessed in the country. He says government can better fight or curb rural exodus and banditry in the country by investing more in the agricultural sector. To him low yields force many young people to seek greener pastures in cities where jobs are in short supply thereby forcing them to join gangs of armed robbers to make ends meet.
The visionary Mayor Choh Isah Buba has challenged the government to carry out reforms in the sector and witness the drastic change thereof. On the part of the Babessi council, the cradle of mini agropastoral show in the country, is envisaging in the days ahead to source for funding and put in place a farmers’ bank to assist farmers with seasonal loans, in order to boost agriculture and most especially to encourage second generation agriculture in the municipality. According to Mayor Choh Isah Buba, farmers are in dire need of agricultural financing through inputs such as improved seeds, pesticides and fertilizers in order to meet today’s food need.
On his part the Senior Divisional Officer for Ngoketunjia applauded Babessi mayor for organizing the show
for farmers and craft men and women to show-case their strength. According to Kuela Valery agriculture is the backbone of the economy and the action by the council is in line with government efforts to promote agro pastoral, forestry and handicraft production and perfection.
|Choh Isah Buba, Initiator of Mini Agropastoral/Handicraft Show in Cameroon|
It should be noted that Choh Isah and the former mayor of Bafut, Neba were the two individuals who initiated the notion of mini agropastoral show in the 1997 after the collapsed of the National Agropastoral show. Today, not only councils in the North West also organize mini agropastoral shows, but it has been imitated by all the 350 councils in Cameroon. With this new initiative of a farmer’s bank, it is hoped that in the nearest future, it shall be told as another success story.
|Rice (Ndop rice)|
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