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2017 Supervision mission in Central Africa

The fourth IFAD supervision mission of the SFOAP main phase in Central Africa took place from 18th to 28th September 2017.

The mission particularly focused on assessing the progress of SFOAP activities and achievements in view of the closing of the program in December 2017, and exploring opportunities for collaboration with IFAD and donors’ country programmes and initiatives.

The team was composed of the SFOAP Analyst and Financial Management Consultant, and was accompanied by representatives from the Plateforme Sous-Régionale des organisations Paysannes d'Afrique Central (PROPAC).

The mission spent 7 days in Cameroon, where consultations were held with the PROPAC and the Concertation Nationale des Organisations Paysannes du Cameroun (CNOP-CAM). Three days were also spent in Congo with the Concertation Nationale des Organisations Paysannes du Congo (CNOP-Congo) and their member the Union des Exploitants Agricoles (UGEA) de Mayanga. A delegation of the Confédération Paysanne du Congo-Principal Regroupement des Paysans (COPACO-PRP) and the l’Union des Coopératives Agricoles du Congo (UCOAC – RDC) also visited Brazzaville to engage into discussion with the mission.

Consultations with the European Union (EU) delegation (in Congo) and IFAD country programmes (both in Congo and Cameroon) were also organized to foster a concrete partnership with Farmers’ Organizations (FOs) at country level. 

Overall, the mission recorded a good level of implementation of the recommendations from the previous supervision. The PROPAC and the national FOs particularly intensified the monitoring of micro-projects being implemented under Component 3 – Provision of Economic Services, with 10 missions carried out by PROPAC and 16 by national FOs. In addition, the PROPAC prepared 3 additional project proposals.

Notwithstanding advancements, the rhythm of implementation is low, particularly due to delays accumulated in the implementation of the micro-projects.

The mobilization of funds also remains a major challenge for the PROPAC, though relevant efforts are being made in that direction. For example, in November 2016, the PROPAC responded to a call for proposals opened by the Ministry of Agriculture to accompany the structuring of cooperatives in West Cameroon within the framework of the Mont Mbappit Rural Development Project (Phase II) of the Islamic Development Bank. The proposal of the PROPAC was pre-selected among 6 proposals.

The PROPAC has also initiated a dialogue between FOs and agricultural research institutions for the mobilization of funds.

In addition, the platform’s institutional agreement with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), makes them preferred partners for the implementation of a number of projects.

In terms of the progress of activities under the different components, Component 1 – Institutional and organizational strengthening supported the organization General Assembly (GA) of the PROPAC in March 2017, back to back with their Regional Conference on Family Farming and Agribusiness. The GA, preceded by a Board meeting, saw the renovation of the leadership of the PROPAC, including the election of Mr. Nathanael Buka Mupungu as the new President.

In accordance with the 2017 Annual Work Plan and Budget, PROPAC is also doing an effort to improve communication and visibility by assuring the maintenance of their website and developing communication products.

Under Component 2 – Policy Engagement, PROPAC’s leaders and executives traveled to Libreville (Gabon) from 18 to 22 June 2017 to meet with ECCAS in order to revisit the terms of the institutional agreement which governs the relations between the two institutions, and strengthen the partnership around a common agenda on the Agricultural Productivity Program in Central Africa.

In addition, the PROPAC is collecting statements and proposals made by FOs over the years to consolidate them into a regional advocacy document.

At the national level, the CNOP Congo conducted a study on the impact of the action of multilateral cooperation programs and projects, which was validated at an appropriation workshop in Brazzaville in April 2017. Similarly, the COPACO completed an analysis on issues affecting the access of farmers to land in mining areas in the DRC.

Under Component 3 – Provision of Economic Services, FOs are implementing their micro-projects with the following focus:

·       Cameroon: three projects focusing on collective input supply, seeds supply, and the set-up of a training center

·       Central African Republic: a project focusing on the import and sale of day-old chicks, and sale of veterinary drugs

·       Chad: two projects focusing on irrigation services to members, and warrantage respectively

·       Congo: two projects focusing on the production of eggs and organic fertilizers, and collective sales respectively

·       DRC: two projects focusing on collective sales with purchases directly from farmers' fields

In Congo laying hen droppings are being mixed with echinochlea in order to produce organic fertilizer. However, the government of the Congo has temporarily prohibited the use of canoes in the river, which prevents cutting a sufficient amount of echinoclea. Thus, the involved FO decided to provisionally use another plant. Between January and June 2017, egg production was estimated at 63,263 units, while droppings at about 6.3 tons, ie 126 bags of 50 kg. The sale of these products generated a profit of CFA 449,750 (EUR 687).

Partnership with IFAD country programmes in Cameroon has progressed. The CNOP-CAM signed a partnership agreement with the Commodity Value Chain Development Support Project (PADFA) in July 2017, amounting to CFA 10 million (around EUR 15,300). Under this agreement, the CNOP-CAM supports the creation of a multi-stakeholder consultation framework for the rice sector in the West and North West of Cameroon.

Also, the CNOP-CAM is in the Steering Committee of the IFAD supported project Promotion de l'Entreprenariat Agropastoral des Jeunes (PEA - Jeunes), though it is not directly involved in the implementation of project activities. However, 20 young entrepreneurs trained by Chaîne de Solidarité et d’Appui aux Actions de Développement Durable de la Mefou (CHASAADD- M), one of the SFOAP supported micro project, were also supported by the PEA-Jeunes for the development of their business plans. Five proposals were selected for financing from the project.

Finally, the CNOP-CAM is in the process of finalizing an agreement with the Rural Microfinance Development Support Project (PADMIR) to accompany the project beneficiaries in education and structuring.

In Congo, the meeting with the EU delegation allowed the CNOP-Congo to reconnect with the partner, though few opportunities for collaboration where identified. The meeting with the team of the Projet de Développement de la Pêche et de l’Aquaculture Continentale (PDPAC) enabled to identify a partnership opportunity with the CNOP in thecontext of FOs structuring in the fisheries sector.

Please consult the full report from the mission by downloading the document below.

 

Photo credit: Antonella Cianciotta

from 18/09/2017 to 28/09/2017
Thematic Areas: Access to Services, Capacity Building, Gender, Knowledge Management, Markets and Value chains, Monitoring and Evaluation, Natural resources, Policy Dialogue
Region: Central Africa