A study on the state of agricultural mechanisation in Cameroon presented in Yaounde on May 14 reveals that 75 per cent of farmers use manual tools.
A survey conducted in eight out of Cameroon’s ten regions (excluding North West and South West) shows that Cameroon’s agricultural mechanisation is still in its embryo state with 75 per cent of farmers using manuel tools. The study presented in Yaounde on May 14 in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gabriel Mbairobe was conducted by the Department of Mechanisation in the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the National Centre of Studies and Improved Agricultural Machinery and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). According to the findings, 12 per cent of farmers use harnessed machines for cultivation while 5 per cent use motorised equipment (tractors) and 8 per cent use machines for processing of agricultural produce. The study which sampled 1515 users, 312 fabricators of machines, 153 importers and 232 service providers in the domain of agricultural mechanisation made an inventory of the materials and tools used by different sectors of agriculture in Cameroon. It also states that
950 tractors have since 2011 been distributed to farmers. However, the study evokes major difficulties impeding the slow rate of agricultural mechanisation notably the high cost of machines, lack of spare parts for repairs and the inability to operate the machines (lack of training). Speaking during the event, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gabriel Mbairobe stated that the agricultural sector in the country is plagued by difficulties such as the predominance of small family farms, archaic production techniques and post-harvest loss. For an agricultural revolution as announced by the Head of State to take place, he added, farmers must move from the extensive to intensive agricul
ture with the use of machines and modern techniques of production. Despite the putting in place of the Ebolowa Tractor Assembly Factory, the MINADER boss said, much is still to be done in putting in place a mechanisation strategy. He assured that the government will exploit the results of the survey and design a new policy for agricultural mechanisation in Cameroon. The study recommends amongst other things the development of a model for small scale mechanisation, facilitate access to small loans for farmers, facilitate access to land and encourage distributors of agricultural machines to be located in production basins and not only concentrate in Yaounde and Douala as the study shows.