CAMEROON – Cameroon is set to make a substantial investment of nearly half a billion FCFA (USD 794,500) in constructing four agricultural storage warehouses across its northern regions, with two dedicated solely to onions.

This move is part of the second phase of the Support Project for Agricultural Value Chain Development (Padfa II), a collaborative effort between the government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The announcement came through a tender notice issued by project coordinator Helène Misse Marigoh.

Christian Kouebou, a specialist in post-harvest technology and nutrition at IFAD, highlighted the objective of these facilities: “to support cooperatives and vulnerable producer organizations in rural areas to enhance the preservation of their food resources, particularly onions.” He emphasized the need to equip communities with modernized facilities to achieve this goal.

IFAD has committed CFA28.5 billion for the rice and onion sectors under the second phase of Padfa, spanning from 2020 to 2026.

The focus on the onion industry aims to surpass an annual production of 200,000 tons. The initial phase of Padfa yielded promising results, with onion producers experiencing a nearly 60% increase in average income, along with a significant 10% reduction in post-harvest losses within a year.

In 2019, Cameroon’s onion production totaled approximately 1,300,784 tonnes. By 2022, the combined production of onions and shallots remained steady at an estimated 305,000 tons, with dry onion production specifically reaching 387,000 tons—a notable 10.5% increase compared to the previous year.

Additionally, The World Vegetable Center, in collaboration with the Commodity Value-Chain Development Support Project, initiated a project to enhance onion seed systems.

This project aimed to bolster the capacity of producers in certified onion seed production, introducing improved onion lines and locally adapted cultivars.

The intervention focused on promoting good agronomic practices for onion cultivation, empowering farmers in bulb and seed production, and organizing them to produce mother bulbs of improved onion varieties, thereby becoming a principal source of onion seed in the region.

The investment and initiatives undertaken by Cameroon reflect a concerted effort to strengthen the onion industry, enhance agricultural productivity, and uplift rural communities.

With modernized facilities and targeted interventions, the aim is to mitigate challenges, improve yields, and create sustainable pathways for economic growth in the agricultural sector.

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