CAMEROON – Fresh produce farmers in Cameroon are anticipating a brighter future as the fertilizer evaluation committee convenes to review agricultural inputs.
The meeting aimed to re- examine its strategy in promoting greater availability of fertilizers and thus reduce dependence on imports.
Following the exponential rise in the price of fertilizer as an outcome of the Russia and Ukraine war, the cost of this output has been one of the top concerns in the country’s Agriculture sector.
According to a report by the Cameroon Tribune, the high cost of fertilizers has led to a decrease in the production of fresh produce in Cameroon resulting in a decline in crop yields.
The price of tomatoes, for example, has increased by 50% due to the high cost of fertilizers reveals another article by Business in Cameroon.
However, the sector holds great potential as the country’s Fruits and Vegetables Market size is estimated at USD 2.33 billion in 2023, Mordor Intelligence outlines.
This projection is expected to reach USD 3.18 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.42% during the forecast period (2023-2028).
Additionally, FAO highlights that the total vegetable production accounted for 2.8 million metric ton in 2021.
This potential could further be elevated by the positive reforms proposed by the committee.
More precisely, the session’s process, under the chairmanship of Grace Annih Bambot Mbong, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, involved examining the files submitted to the committee.
Among the files submitted were 11 fertilizer marketing applications and one amendment for the committee to assess their prices before authorizing their placing on the market.
“This assessment begins with a laboratory analysis of the product that is presented by a fertilizer supplier after which a field evaluation will be conducted for the researchers to ascertain its effectiveness on site,” explained Prof. Mvondo Ze, an expert in fertility and fertilization.
“The final step is a critical review where experts will sit down and decide on the reliability of the fertilizer under review.”
According to him, the greatest challenge of this sub-sector is the overdependence on imported fertilizer despite a relatively low usage rate.