The Government of Cameroon is examining ways to save the tomato agriculture sub-sector from totally crumbling following the closure of borders in a bit to limit the importation of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic into Cameroon.
The issue was at the heart of discussions Thursday July 16 during the weekly meeting of the Inter-Ministerial commission charged with the follow up of Government’s Coronavirus response plan.
One of these response plans, the closure of borders happens to have negatively affected among others the tomato sector, at a point that some farmers are reported to have committed suicide due to the inability to recover money to repay the loans they incurred to invest in their tomato farms this season.
Added to that, tomato reportedly mobiles about 330,000 small scale and organised producers in Cameroon and it is one of the rare crops which the country exports more than it imports.
This situation has caused the Government of Cameroon to begin examining ways to save the sector, given that a close end to the Coronavirus pandemic is not imminent.
During the inter-Ministerial meeting chaired by Prime Minister Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute, the Minister of Agriculture and his counterpart of Trade proposed the restructuring of the sector in case the pandemic continues.
In this light, they mentioned the Government’s support with inputs like fertilizers, seeds and pesticides and the rehabilitation of old transformation plants and the construction of new ones.
Nevertheless, some of these farmers remain optimistic these setbacks will soon be an issue of the past owing to the imminent reopening of the country’s land and sea borders any time from now.