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Meeting the challenge of the plantain (Musa spp.) sub-sector economic restructuring in Cameroon

Tetang J.T., Kwa M., Temple L., Bikoï A., Njukwe E., Staver C., Ottou J.F.B.. 2010. In : Dubois T. (ed.), Hauser S. (ed.), Staver Charles (ed.), Coyne D. (ed.). Proceedings of the International Conference on banana and plantain in Africa : harnessing international partnerships to increase research impact, Mombasa, Kenya, October 5-9, 2008. Louvain : ISHS [Belgique], p. 829-835. (Acta Horticulturae, 879). International Conference on Banana and Plantain in Africa: Harnessing international partnerships to increase research impact, 2008-10-05/2008-10-09, Mombasa (Kenya).

Plantain is among the most preferred foodstufts in Cameroon, especially to towns and the forest zones. Almost 40% of production is for home consumption. Its production has become an income generating activity especially to poor farmers. Being an important component of food security in Cameroon and the sub-region, its production and availability for consumption and marketing has become a critical issue. In an attempt to understand how the various stakeholders organize themselves to share knowledge and experience, a stakeholders' analysis has been conducted, the bottlenecks hindering the innovation process identified, and some solutions for improving the situation proposed. Results show amongst others that efforts made so far by the various actors of the sub-sector have yielded significant result. However, plantain production (1.315t in 2004), has remained relatively stagnant for years (since 1975) and due to high population growth, this production no more meets demand for local and regional consumption. Moreover, linkages among and between actors are not strong enough. In addition, for a long time, partners have been in want of government commitment without which their limited means could have only a limited impact in sustaining the sub-sector. However, facts demonstrate that policy framework is now favourable for the sub-sector and government commitment effective since 2003 with the launching of a project for relaunching the plantain Sub-Sector (PRFP). Another programme aiming at restructuring the plantain sub-sector is still in planning state. In order to ensure continuous learning process; coordinate efforts and build team spirit; strengthen linkages among and between actors to improve knowledge sharing and the production and diffusion of innovations; it is proposed amongst others to establish a national consultative framework on bananas and plantains.

Mots-clés : musa (plantains); cameroun

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