Cameroon launches $100m digital project to boost agriculture
Cameroon has announced a $100 million project to accelerate agricultural digital transformation.
The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) is supporting the acceleration of Cameroon's digital transformation project known as the PATNuC.
IDA gives grants and low- to zero-interest loans to the world's poorest countries.
PATNuC is anticipated to run through to 2027 and will be implemented collaboratively by the Ministries of Posts and Telecommunications, Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries, and Agriculture and Rural Development.
The project is divided into three components, the first of which focuses on reducing digital disparities in rural areas through improving digital connectivity and inclusion.
The second portion will help to strengthen the strategy, policy, and regulatory framework for the establishment of a dynamic, safe, and inclusive digital economy, while the third will make it easier to deploy data-driven solutions to boost agricultural innovation.
Dr. Fuaye Kenji Winfred Mfuh, national coordinator of PATNuC, stated that they will ensure telecom services are offered at reduced rates, and that broadband is widely available throughout Cameroon, particularly in the agricultural sector.
Mfuh said they intend to use the project to empower small scale farmers to use technology to boost production, access markets, and develop themselves in order to raise yields.
"By then , we hope to have more than 30,500 small producers, who will already be financed in terms of increasing and improving their productivity, using digital tools to enable what they do," Mfuh added.
The World Bank feels that Cameroon's economic transition is being hampered by inadequate and expensive broadband access, and they intend to help in this regard with the PATNuC initiative.
"We are committed to working with the government," stated Cheick Kanté, World Bank Country Director for Cameroon. “This project is timely since it will help to create an atmosphere favourable to the development of communication technology. It will also boost access to ICTs across the country, particularly in underserved or underserved areas."