The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gabriel Mbairobe, on June 21, 2019 presented to Senators, actions taken by the government to ensure that agricultural activities in the Far North Region regain its steam. The Minister gave the details during a question and answer plenary sitting chaired by the Senate President, Marcel Niat Njifenji, in the presence of the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Relations with the Assemblies, Bolvine Wakata. Minister Gabriel Mbairobe was responding to Senator Alioum Alhadji Hamadou who demanded to know measures taken by government to ensure a return to full blown farming activities in the Logone and Chari, Mayo Sava and Mayo Tsanaga Divisions of the Far North Region.
The Minister said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has embarked on the provision of quality seeds, the award of farming tools to farmers and improving access to funding for micro farming projects. “The agricultural campaign tools that are in force, launched in May 2019 in Ngaoundere are known in the region. The Ministry of Agriculture has carried out and continues to carry out the removal of restrictions linked to the accessibility to quality seeds and in sufficient quantity and most of all, access to funding for micro farming projects and the accompaniment and close catering for the big, medium and the small agricultural producers,” he stated.
Minister Gabriel Mbairobe said with a decline of insecurity in the three divisions and increase rainfall, people have begun doing their activities normally. “We think that if there is no other failure, the harvest will be very good this year. The government is trying to help with fertilisers and improved planting materials and we have a programme to increase the income of farmers. All these actions will improve agricultural activities in the Far North Region,” the Minister said hopefully.
As concerns the restoration of soils, the Minister said the abandonment of soils has rather favoured the fallowing of these plots, thus the reconstitution of their fertility. “But in the quest for the long term restoration of soils, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has put in place a programme of reforestation of arable spaces by cashew nut or acacia shrubberies. The choice of these trees is justified by the fact that these plants are not only rustic and contribute to the restoration of soils, but also enhance the revenue of farmers by the production of cashew nuts or Arabian gum which have a commercial value in the international market,” he explained.
Besides the construction of basic socio-economic infrastructure from the Public Investment Budget in 2019, the Minister said there is equally the management of food security indicators through periodic monitoring and evaluation through a harmonised framework.