Cameroon launches 2024 agricultural campaign amid climate and cost challenges

Cameroon launches 2024 agricultural campaign amid climate and cost challenges

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(Business in Cameroon) – Cameroon’s Minister of Agriculture, Gabriel Mbairobe, officially launched the 2024 agricultural campaign on April 5. The ceremony took place in the southern region, which encompasses seven of the country’s ten regions.

Addressing the farmers, Minister Mbairobe acknowledged their resilience despite the challenges posed by climate change, including floods and droughts. This new campaign comes against a backdrop of heatwaves that are unfavorable for both crop yields and livestock production. Beyond climate challenges, the 2024 campaign is also marked by the rising costs of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. For instance, the price of urea has surged by 293% between January 2020 and January 2022, according to data from the employers’ organization Gicam (now Gecam).

This escalation in input costs is a direct aftermath of the post-COVID period, further exacerbated by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Notably, Russia is Cameroon’s leading supplier of fertilizers, with a 43% market share, compared with 11% for China, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS). In 2022, Cameroon imported 129,600 tons of fertilizers at a total of CFA66.4 billion, representing an 81.6% increase in the value of these imports compared to 2021. That year, Cameroon spent CFA36.5 billion to import 203,324 tons of fertilizers, highlighting the significant price inflation in agricultural inputs.