Cameroon EBAFOSA National Day of Resilience and Food Security (JNRSA)
Commemoration of the Cameroon EBAFOSA National Day of Resilience and Food Security (JNRSA), organized by the EBAFOSA Cameroon stakeholders was launched on 1st August by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development. The day meant to showcase Cameroon’s progress in bridging policy & operational gaps towards climate proofing & maximizing productivity of food systems by upscaling Ecosystems Based Adaptation (EBA) driven agriculture & clean energy power for agro-processing. This attracted participation of policy-level state actors & non-state actors from private sector, academia & NGOs, CSOs, academia, Policy markers, International organizations, Women and Youth groups, Faith Based organsations and indvidial citizens amongst others
In her remarks, the representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development thanked the UN Environment noting that EBAFOSA is transformational & timely for Africa – contributing to not only socioeconomic development through ensuring food & livelihood security but actualising Cameroon climate objectives as stipulated in Cameroon’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Fulfilling specific objectives of greening agro-value chains & upscaling clean energy use. She further noted that the JNRSA is an opportune occasion to enhance the integration of environment & food security – focusing on the entire value chain, from on-farm to off-farm value addition & supply chains. These are areas which are mutually dependent and which with integration of clean energy can accelerate Africa’s implementation of the SDGs & Paris Agreement.
On EBAFOSA, the Ministers representative hailed EBAFOSA as a continental platform to address the intrinsic challenges Africa faces – food insecurity, climate change, environmental degradation, poverty & low productivity of its key sectors. She further hailed EBAFOSA as bringing new innovative ways to implement the Paris Agreement & SDGs.
The Minister of Agriculture noted that resilient EBA-driven agriculture is the future for Africa. She noted that EBAFOSA is nationally owned and is a priority delivery mechanism for future government developments.
The Minister then declared the day officially launched and pledged the Ministries support to ensure JNRSA becomes an annual event celebrated every 1st of August .
After the event launch, guests were invited to an exhibition organized by EBAFOSA Cameroon stakeholders to showcase progress.
At the policy level, Cameroon progress towards harmonizing sectorial polices to complement the shared aim of climate proofing & maximizing productivity of Cameroons food systems by establishing EBA-driven agriculture led clean energy powered agro-industrial zones got a major boost. This after the Minister of Roads & Public works attended the exhibition to discuss with stakeholders on how his ministry can complement the shared objective based on maximizing productivity of EBA driven agriculture & clean energy, sectors that can accelerate socioeconomic transformation in Cameroon. The Minister was informed of the need to ensure roads development policies synchronized with agriculture, lands, planning & industrialization policies to ensure roads linking farming areas and agro-industrial zones to markets & collection points are prioritized. This is to ensure roads development investment is targeted at areas that can potentially maximize socioeconomic impact to accelerate Cameroon’s socioeconomic transformation. This will enhance impact of roads policies to Cameroon development. The Minister noted that EBAFOSA is timely for Cameroon & Africa and pledged his support which is crucial for Cameroon EBAFOSA inter-agency task force that is convening various key ministries for policy harmonization as above.
At the operational level, exhibitions of various value added agro-products produced using EBA approaches & processed using clean energy were undertaken by EBAFOSA Cameroon stakeholders. As an example, a participant showed how cassava - a high value climate resilient crop – is being processed using clean energy to various value added product lines – gari flour, chips among others.
Further to enhance market and supply chain linkages, a group of youth in Information Communication Technology (ICT) demonstrated a mobile app that can be used to seamlessly link producers at various levels – farm level & value added produce level – to markets & supply chain information. The app is set to be integrated into the EBAFOSA-driven EdenSys Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP) – which has integrated services including financial intermediation, advisory etc., & market information along the entire EBAFOSA chain - for augmentation.
The ICT youth group will be linked up with the EBAFOSA EdenSys stakeholders to augment the introduction of the EdenSys ERP in Cameroon and in the process enhance their ICT in agro-value chains skills to include maintaining ERP systems that offer value chain services in addition to information.
The event mobilized additional critical stakeholders needed to bridge policy & operational gaps in Cameroon. At the policy level, the support of the Ministry of Roads & Public works to participate in the inter-agency policy task force & harmonize roads development policies towards prioritizing roads linking agro-production & industrial areas to markets & collection points is significant. Going forward, the Roads Minister will recruit technical & policy officials from his ministry who will participate in the task force hosted by the Ministries of Agriculture & Environment. This is critical towards ensuring roads development investment complements EBA –driven agriculture led, clean energy powered industrialization provision of quality infrastructure for efficient linkage of produce to markets.