Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Pathetic Lamentation of Small Holder Tea Farmer in Ndu, Is PM, Minister of Agriculture Aware?

Tea farm belonging to Pa Monde
 The European Union recently supported the Small Holders with a processing plant. The equipment was handed to the beneficiary by North West Governor yet something is seemingly wrong ass someone, somewhere doesn't want the project to take off. Popular opinion in Ndu holds that the Prime Minister, Head of Government Yang Philemon and the Minister of Agriculture cannot be talking of Second Generation Agriculture when small holder farmers are being tortured for making their part in nation building.
It is worth noting that the relationship between local tea farmers ( Small Holders' Schemes) and the the Cameroon Development Corporation-CDC was very healthy until 2003 when the tea sector was privatised to CTE. CDC assisted these Small holders schemes with inputs, expertise and even helped in the processing of their produce. When CTE took over, the relationship became unhealthy. One of the Small Tea farmers won the first prize at National Agro-pastoral show at  Ebolowa  in 2011.

The situation of Small Holder Tea farmers in Ndu has reached a crisis level. This is so because the Prime Minister Yang Philemon and the Minister of Agriculture have given a deaf ear to their plight. Of late, Pa Monde Michael was arrested and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for allegedly harvesting tea leaves at the Ndu Tea plantation. Some years ago, five small holder tea farmers were arrested, detained and were later discharged and acquitted at the Appeal Court for processing their products locally. George Tando Tanko in a facebook post reports that Monde Micheal's tea farm has turned into a forest. Allegedly, this situation is happening as a result of repeated threats, intimidation and court cases masterminded by the management of Cameroon Tea Estates (CTE).
One of the farmers told us that government has abandoned them in the middle of the road. Yet it is estimated that more than 60 farmers have more than two hectares of tea plantation that is almost growing into forest. "We feel that we committed an error in developing these plantations", lamented. Last weekm councilors of Ndu council frowned at what they described as manhandling of tea farmers and vowed that the nonsense must stop.

(Stakes and Implication coming up soon)

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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