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Prime Minister presides at February Cabinet meeting

How to reduce the country's dependency on imported fish, dairy products, rice and other cereals was at the centre of this month's Cabinet Meeting chaired by Prime Minister, Head of Government Joseph Dion Ngute at the Star Building on Thursday, February 28, 2019.

Two presentations were done by the Ministers of Livestock, Fisheries (MINEPIA) Mbairobe Gabriel and Animal Industry and Agriculture, and Rural Development (MINADER), Dr Taiga.

The presentation of the MINADER is a follow up to the January Cabinet Meeting during which the PM instructed the head of this ministerial department to present short, medium and long term actions to increase the local production of rice.

Statistics from the MINEPIA indicate that the current production of fish stands at two hundred and thirty thousand tons instead of the four hundred and fifty tons requirement.

The demand - supply equation has been difficult to balance and Government has been obliged to resort to importation to meet up with the demand.

To reduce this dependency on importation, Government intends to reorganise the Structures in charge of fish production, train farmers on techniques of aqua-culture; encourage private sector investment as stated by Minister Taiga.

Regarding the production of milk, the main obstacle to the evolution of dairy products has been the genetic performance of animals and the prevalence of diseases as well as insufficient appropriation of techniques by producers.

According to Minister Taiga, to remedy the situation, Government is supporting public-private partnership as well as the development partners to purchase high yield breeds.

With regards to rice production, the MINADER pointed out the importation of national production is in the neighbourhood of a one hundred tons covering just fifteen percent of national demand while importation stands at six hundred and thirty two thousand tons per annum.

Obstacles include, the lack of improved seed, absence of tools for mechanised farming and de-skinning the paddy rice; the absence of farm to market roads also poses a great obstacle as well as the high cost of fertilizers.

As remedy, government is advocating the purchase of ploughing equipment and increasing the availability of irrigated surfaces.

The Head of Government instructed the Minister of the Economy and Planning, to send proposals of resources that can be mobilised for the purchase of ploughing equipment and improved seedlings.

Meantime the MINEPIA was instructed to set up measures by which aqua-cultural products can be collected and preserved.

Le Cameroun en Bref

Capitale : Yaoundé
Superficie : 475 442 km2
Population : 23 739 218 hab. (2015)
Monnaie : Franc CFA BEAC (XAF)