PARM organised a Risk Assessment Workshop in Yaoundé jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture (MINADER) and with the support of the CAADP focal point, to present the preliminary results of the risk assessment study in Cameroon.

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In 2005, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union adopted the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), an agricultural component of NEPAD, to achieve food security, reduce poverty and accelerate agricultural growth. Its implementation is carried out through sub-regional and national agricultural policies translated into regional and national agricultural investment programs. Achieving CAADP goals is made difficult by the constraints of climate change and agricultural risks. Thus, farmers in Cameroon are exposed mainly to climate change risks such as drought, floods, storms and hail, and to animal diseases such as avian influenza. They also face significant challenges in crop-pots, uncertain access to markets and price variability.

Objective of the workshop

The main objective was to move forward with PARM’s Risk Assessment Study in Cameroon and to further the interaction with relevant government, donor, private sector and smallholder actors. More specifically the workshop aimed to:

  • Enhance participants’ skills on Agriculture Risk Management (ARM) and develop an understanding of the holistic approach to agricultural risk developed by PARM-NEPAD;
  • Present, validate and consolidate the results of the agricultural risk assessment studies conducted in Cameroon;
  • Identify national strategic reference documents to include the results of the risk assessment study;
  • Share some tools / agricultural risk management initiatives developed by national and international actors active in the ARM.

Programme of the workshop

The workshop  was officially opened by the PARM, the CAADP focal point and the Minister of Agriculture (MINADER).

Around 50 participants attended the workshop, with an active participation especially during the workgroup session. The major agriculture risks affecting the whole agricultural sector have been identified and their prioritization debated during the workshop. Some missed data (especially on biological and post-harvest risks) and the inputs received during the workshop will be incorporated in the final version of the report (January 2017) and once validated by the Government of Cameroon integrated into the national strategic thematic policy papers.

Main outcomes

The first conclusions of the study identified  pest and disease, post-harvest losses and price volatility as the major risks affecting farmers in Cameroon. Climate risks (especially droughts) despite the immediate negative impact on farmer livelihoods are classified as moderate level risks  due to the limited geographical areas affected.

The holistic approach proposed, reflected in the RAS preliminary report, was appreciated and PARM was recognized as the only actor following this new methodology in Cameroon.  The commitment of the Government of Cameroon was also confirmed and the integration within the CAADP process and the National Investment Plan mentioned during the workshop.

As per PARM process, the preliminary results of the RAS  will be completed in the next weeks with the new inputs and data discussed and collected during the workshop.  The final version of the RAS is expected in January 2017.

Next steps

Once finalized the RAS, and confirmed the risks prioritization some areas on which focus the upcoming feasibility studies  will be discussed with the Ministry of Agriculture (MINADER) and the CAADP Country Platform. However the access to the basic information (both for market players and farmers) and the reinforcement of the capacity of the extension services and farmers on the new P-ARM concepts may represent a potential area of interest.