An international festival is underway in Cameroon to bolster plantain farming in the Central African country which aims to become a leading producer by 2030.
Farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs exhibited the perennial crop at the festival ground in the seaside resort town of Limbe in the country’s Southwest region.
“Cameroon’s desire to become an emerging country by 2035, depends on the development of production, processing and distribution activities for our various agricultural and pastoral products which offer real employment and wealth opportunities for our population,” said Cameroon’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Gabriel Mbairobe at a ceremony to mark the start of the four-day festival that opened Thursday.
Plantain accounts for 16 percent of farmers’ income and 4.3 percent of Cameroon’s agricultural gross domestic product, according to the official.
“Plantain production is currently estimated at over 5.4 million tonnes annually and Cameroon targets 10 million tonnes in 2030. On this, the government is determined to support the plantain industry in various ways,” he said, adding that the government has established a special fund to support production.
The festival, the second of the kind, witnessed the signing of two agreements with private firms that seek to modernize plantain production.