2023 Int’l Banana-Plantain Festival: SW Regional Assembly, Banana & plantain sector actors ready.

Stakeholders in the banana and plantain sector in the South West Region have expressed their readiness to welcome celebrants from across Cameroon and the globe to mark the second edition of the International Banana Festival in the region in 2023.

The disclosure was made by Zacchaeus Bakoma Elango, President of the South West Regional Assembly, and Samuel Tony Obam Bikoue, of the National Association of Actors of the Banana-Plantain Sector in Cameroon, with French abbreviation BPFC. 

This was during a two-day meeting with stakeholders in Buea. The meeting took place March 30-31, 2023.

It was an opportunity for Samuel Tony Obam to present mascots of a gala match that will characterise the Banana Festival in the South West Region in November 2023. 

The mascot includes some living legends of Cameroonian and Nigerian Football; Peter Rufai, Etim Essien, Joseph Antoine Bell, Enow Eyong, and many others who will join the crew.

Bringing together these legends of Cameroonian and African football, according to Obam, was to promote the international influence of the second edition of the International Banana-Plantain Festival planned for the South West region this year. 

These legends, he noted, will help give an international image to Cameroonian plantain, thus enabling farmers and investors to make more profits.

Thus, to fast-track preparations for the gala match that will involve former Indomitable Lions of Cameroon facing former Super Eagles of Nigeria, a partnership agreement was signed between the National Association of Actors of the Banana-Plantain Sector in Cameroon, led by Tony Obam, and the Association of Former International Footballers of Cameroon, called SWEFA (South-West Footballers Association). 

The meeting in Buea was an opportunity for stakeholders to draw a programme of all the activities related to the festival and distribute the tasks and responsibilities to the various parties. 

They were able to adopt a winning strategy to get more investors, and funding agencies to make the event as profitable as possible, which should serve as a trigger for the resumption of large-scale Agro-Pastoral investments in the South West. 

 

 

 

Cameroon expected to be highest plantain producer in 20230

The International Banana-Plantain Festival, in its second edition, is part of the drive by Samuel Tony Obam to make the Cameroon the leading producer of plantain in the world by 2030. 

This is in line with the vision of President Paul Biya in the National Development Strategy, NDS30, through which the country will be able to produce 10 million tons per year.   

Farmers across Cameroon will benefit from high-quality fertiliser from Fertile Ground, the official sponsor of the festival. The knowledge and skills gained from Fertile Ground will help accelerate the implementation of precision agriculture, where Fertile Ground's high-quality fertilisers will be a key component in producing more than ten thousand tons. 

To ensure a ready market for the increased production of plantain, Obam's organisation will engage stakeholders in countries like Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad, so that actors of the sector can come to buy the Banana-Plantain products in Cameroon. 

 

Regional Assembly, Buea Paramount Chief, ready to portray region’s potential

The South West Region, according to the President of the South West Regional Assembly, Zacchaeus Bakoma Elango, which produces 35% of plantain in the country, will benefit from the festival, given its strategic location in the country, at the crossroads with Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and the economic capital of Cameroon.

Given the opportunities presented by the International Banana-Plantain Festival, he said the region was ready to welcome more investors in the sector. 

“We are very ready because this is the third preparatory meeting to show that the region is ready for the festival in November 2023. The South West Regional Assembly is interested in the banana/plantain festival because of the multiplier effect possible with this event. We see more investors joining the sector to help in adding value to banana and plantain”.

Bringing the initiative to the South West Region, Bakoma said, would give farmers access to more resilient seeds to boost productivity. 

“We see an opportunity for banana and plantain farmers in the South West to have improved varieties of banana and plantain because we have enough land available in the region to plant. However, our farmers need more resilient planting materials so that their products can increase,” he said.

On his part, the Paramount Chief of Buea, HRM Chief Dr Robert Esuka Mbella Endeley, expressed joy that the Regional Assembly had embraced the festival, while promising that the region will boost production above the 35% it currently produces after the festival.

“The South West Region produces 35% of the plantain in the country, so it was no coincidence that the project was launched in Buea. I can assure you all that by the time this project is finished, the region will be producing 50% of the plantain. We are energising our people by showing them the value of this festival that is coming up in November,” Chief Esuka Endeley stated.

 

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  • avatar
    - Malle Joyce Ndoh

    I with the above mentioned name is a Cameroonian from the Southwest and a marketer of a plantain crop under Binion Company Ltd. On behalf of the Binion company, I wish to make known our development project in the plantain sector which we are not only limited in the production of plantain, but also in the process of turning the plantain to plantain flour for both home and abroad markets not leaving behind quality eggs production and broilers . The support of our stakeholders in this our project will extend the lifespan of so many . rnThanks Sirs for this wonderful initiative

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