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Transforming rural areas in Cameroon: Taking stock and looking forward

Posted by Steven Jonckheere Thursday, February 11, 2016

The agricultural sector is vital for Cameroon; it employs around 50 per cent of the economically active population and has been able to support the overall economy in a context of falling oil and industrial revenues. Apart from some agro-industrial plantations and a few large private farms, agriculture is dominated by small family farms. Most of them employ manual methods, often make use of casual labour and use few or no external inputs. In rural areas 50 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Rural youth in Cameroon, faced with a lack of opportunities, skills and resources, are one of the population groups most vulnerable to poverty. IFAD is working with the Government of Cameroon to build the organizational capacity and bargaining power of poor rural people and their organizations and to achieve sustainable improvements in the prospects for income-generating on-farm and off-farm activities of poor rural people, particularly women and you
ng people.

From 9 to 12 February 2016 the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Territorial Development and the IFAD country office in Cameroon have brought together a wide range of stakeholders in Kribi to look at current trends, take stock of what the IFAD-supported projects have achieved so far and to plan ahead for the next four years. Participants include representatives from sectorial ministries, youth groups, producers’ organisations, project management units and the IFAD country team. Emphasis has been put on strengthening linkages between the different IFAD-supported projects, building the capacity to document and share experiences and promoting a management-for-results culture.

Each of the three IFAD-supported projects has worked out a knowledge management strategy. Areas for collaboration between the projects have been identified. In addition, IFAD’s country strategy results framework for Cameroon has been updated, which will support the use of performance information to improve decision-making. Finally, the event has helped to boost team spirit amongst the various stakeholders. All participants re-confirmed their commitment to a common agenda: transforming rural areas in Cameroon.