Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Looking Glass: Relief for Farmers as FAINAP Jumpstarts Maize Seed Production



In just less than one year since the Frontier Agro Industrial Programme-FAINAP was launched in Nkambe, farmers in Donga Mantung Division are already seeing themselves as part of Second Generation Agricultural programme in Cameroon.  This is so because FAINAP has jumpstarted the production of maize seed which is said to be adapted to diverse ecologies in the Division. This maize germplasm which was sourced from IRAD’s maize breeding center is presently making news as germination is rated at more than 95%. Prospects are high at that the seed businesses in the North West Region will soon have the influence to run a competitive domestic market for maize seed, thanks to FAINAP.
To Dr. Fuh Calistus Gentry, Initiator, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Frontier Agro Industrial Programme-FAINAP, the enrichment of the dietary value of a crop, is going to be the cornerstone of FAINAP’s maize seed production farm in the Mbaw Plain. With over 4 hectares of land already cultivated, it is expected that next planting season FAINAP maize seed will reach about 10000 farmers. He said the maize sector in Donga Mantung is benefiting from an upsurge in investments leading to new varieties that have the potential to increase production, enhance nutrition and strengthen local industry. Maize is the first cereal crop in Donga Mantung, which at a production rate of four tons per hectare, has one of the highest national yields in Cameroon. It is also expected that maize productivity upward from levels in the early 1990s due to the adoption and expansion of hybrid maize varieties.
For several years now, majority of maize farmers in Donga Mantung Division have depended on their own indigenous skills for planting material due to the high cost says FAINAP Representative in Nwa, Mr. Hans. FAINAP representative also disclosed to us a week ago that the seed multiplication farm in Ngu-along the Sabongari will soon embark on second cycle maize farming that will cover at least 10 ha of land.
It should be recalled that on March 22, 2016 during a groundbreaking ceremony with partners and stakeholders in Nkambe, Dr. Fuh Calistus, said that FAINAP's vision is geared towards developing Donga Mantung with emphasis laid on encouraging large scale production, transformation and the development of agro industries. These actions, he added will also ensure that storage facilities, marketing channels and branding is carried out to instill growth and stability. Although seed multiplication takes time, the benefits could make a huge contribution to Donga Mantung’s economy, health and livelihoods for farmers across the country.
“These parental seeds will help us to produce the seed locally,” said Hans, FAINAP representative for Nwa and farm manager, adding that they will also “enable us to provide quality seed. Looking at the rate of germination and growth, I think we are at 96% success”.

FAINAP and Second Generation Agriculture
FAINAP targets to increase maize production in the Division to 300.000 tons per year on about 50.000 ha. In addition to the maize sector, FAINAP is also seeking strategies to put in place to increase Palm oil to 150 tons and encourage the development of at least 20.000 ha of new farm land within the next five years.
To kick-start the process, palm nuts are expected in the Mbaw Plain and Ako to establish giant palm nurseries. To succeed in its exploits, FAINAP is working in close partnership with PIDMA, PRO-COM-PH, IRAD, ACEFA, AFGRILAND, AGT and the National Maize Programme amongst others. The National Coordinator of PIDMA, Ngue Bissa Thomas (World Bank) sponsored programme sees FAINAP as a veritable development partner. While in Nkambe to hand over improved maize seed to its partner, Ngue Bissa Thomas revealed that "We are ready and looking forward to work with FAINAP in setting cooperatives in the Division. And we are also ready to give more support to make sure that this programme succeeds. Donga Mantung has the rich ecological potentials to produce the desired results". 
It is worth mentioning that the Frontier Agro Industrial Programme also seeks to introduce mechanized agriculture in the Division with prospects of establishing clusters and production basins. The idea is to establish a functional industrial zone with diversified industries linked to the maize, oil palm and diary sectors. As the Mayor of Nkambe Council, Ngabir Paul Bantar puts it, there is no other way to go industrial than to go agricultural.  To the Mayor of Ndu Bunyui Emmanuel FAINAP is the surest way 










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