Special initiative ONE WORLD – No Hunger

Green innovation centre Cameroon

In the research institute IRAD in Cameroon, a lab worker is analysing the composition of chicken feed.

Up to now, the price paid by the food industry for cocoa from Cameroon has been low. As far as quality is concerned, the majority of raw cocoa is only suitable for use in chocolate bars or other mass-produced goods as it often has an unpleasant taste or is lacking in subtle aromas. Since the revenue cocoa farmers generate is therefore limited, they are barely able to survive financially.

Poultry farmers and potato growers are faced with similar problems. They have to work extremely hard for little return. This is due to a number of reasons, including fungal diseases which frequently destroy part of the potato crop, and the death of many chickens before they are able to lay eggs or reach their slaughtering weight. The green innovation centre in Cameroon is tasked with improving this situation.

What is so innovative?

Sun instead of smoke: In four cocoa cooperatives comprising 1,500 members and as many as 12,000 cocoa farmers, new solar dryers are drying the precious beans so as to preserve their aroma. In the past this was performed using old, porous ovens in which the taste of the cocoa was impaired by the smoke. Using special presses, the farmers are able to extract cocoa oil and butter. As a result, many farmers can now charge higher prices for their produce.

Poultry in good hands: 30 new veterinary stations in remote regions of the country will soon provide storage in their solar-powered refrigerators for medicines, vaccines and feed supplements for chickens. Each station will serve 400 poultry farmers.

Suitable for export: Using healthy seed potatoes from Germany, farmers in Cameroon are able to harvest large quantities of high-quality potatoes, which they can then also export to the neighbouring countries of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Our objectives

  • To increase income for 70,000 smallholders by 31 per cent
  • To create 1,800 new jobs
  • To provide education and training for 120,000 smallholders

Routes to success

Given the lack of healthy and disease-resistant seed potatoes in Cameroon, the country’s regulatory authority for certification and quality control (Direction de la Réglementation et du Contrôle de Qualité des Intrants et Produits Agricoles, DRCQ) is testing and certifying a number of different seed potato varieties. Depending on the climate and soil, adapted varieties which generate higher yields and are less prone to disease will be available to farmers in future. Training courses teach the farmers how to get by with less fertiliser and fewer pesticides. In 20 cooperatives, the farmers learn the correct way of cultivating, tending and harvesting the new varieties, as well as how they can process them into starch, for example.

In the past, sickness has affected many new-born chicks. Vaccinations and improvements in the nutrition of parent animals will rectify this problem. In addition to vaccinations, the animals are given a feed supplement in the form of certain microorganisms which strengthen the body’s defences. The veterinary stations are privately run but are overseen by Cameroon’s national veterinary office. The costs of the veterinary service are largely covered by the increase in the amount of meat and eggs that are produced.

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