Statistics indicate that this Activity Practiced mostly in the North West and South West regions is becoming a Sustainable Source of Income to Local Farmers and an Opening for the Development of the African Continent.
Vegetable gardening has become a substantial source of income in some parts of the North West, and South West regions of Cameroon. In the above mentioned regions, farmers have decided to specialize in vegetable cultivation due to the suitable climatic conditions for the growth of these crops and the substantial revenue received from sales. Vegetables cultivated range from tomatoes, leaks, celeries, green spices, cabbage, carrots, garden eggs, cucumber, pepper; soya beans groundnuts and white pepper. The high demand for these vegetables in home and foreign market is also a reason why more farmers take up this profession as their source of livelihood. Some of the products are processed and packaged in sachets or cans for better preservation and exported to foreign markets. Some neighboring countries with accessible roads are already benefiting from the supplies of these fresh vegetables notably Nigeria and the Central African sub region where demand is high. “I have been processing and exporting my products to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea”, Roger Mba, a local farmer in the Santa subdivision of the North West region told Initiave-afrik
However, since the demand for vegetable production has enormously increased, economists in the Sub Region say it would be of great advantage for these emerging industries to be promoted.
“The best way to promote this industry is to create a food processing unit where these products would be processed, packaged, and exported to the foreign market for consumption”, one expert noted. According to him, “It would also be necessary to subsidize the production of these vegetables to ease more production and encourage more farmers to engage in vegetable cultivation. This would increase the quantity needed for industrial processing». Experts also argue that it will be necessary to allocate more farmland for increase productivity and constantly supply agricultural inputs to farmers”.
It will be recalled that he quantity of vegetable that is been exported to neighboring countries is an indication of the high demand in the foreign market. Equally, to meet up with international standards, quality control has to be assured for competition in the foreign market. Finally, many investors in this sector are convinced of the fact that “developing our food processing industry would meet up with international standards, yield a lot of profit, alleviate poverty, and attract revenue to the producing country”. According to those who have invested in vegetable gardening, if African countries could concentrate on vegetable cultivation, Africans would benefit form each other from this international trade. This would alleviate poverty, satisfy their wants. Apart from generating income from the cultivation of vegetable, the nutritive aspects cannot be left out. Reason why African countries should concentrate, promote and transform these crops so that and the African continent would achieve an increase in their development rate.
Njogho George Claude Mbando
and Sébastian Chi Elvido, Cameroon.