Haven for Self-Employment

The key role that can be played by the Agropastoral sector in providing employment and boosting the country’s GDP cannot be underestimated. Despite its primordial position whereby the sector is said to occupy the interest of 70 per cent of the active population, it regrettably represents only 30 per cent of the Gross National Product. That a sector known to be so rich in potentials could be contributing so little to the growth of the economy is something to worry about. The Agropastoral sector if well harnessed could be the greatest employer in Cameroon. Paradoxically, it is not. Who is to blame for this situation is the obvious question to ask? Can the situation be reversed is another important question? If yes; the next question is; by who and how? But for all these questions to be given appropriate answers, stakeholders in the sector need to first identify the problems that have been negatively affecting it. Some of these include: lack of capital, poor farm-to-market roads, last of inputs, unavailability of chemicals to treat pest and diseases, unfavourable prices, climate change and lack of storage facilities. All these can equally be packaged under the canopy of unhealthy business climate.
Authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and those of the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries are working on a reform plan with the aim of improving the business climate in order to attract private investment and boosting the economy one of the consequences being to beef up employment especially among the youths. Assisted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the two ministries after brainstorming with agropastoral sector actors emerge with 17 reform proposals aimed at improving the performance of enterprises in the sector and boosting foreign direct investment. The proposals take into consideration the multiplicity of factors considered to be blocking the evolution of the activities in agriculture and livestock. Some of these have...

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