North West Regional Delegate for Agriculture and Rural Development has warned farmers against the misuse of public funds. Joachim Metoh Mah was speaking in Bamenda Tuesday June 4, 2017 during the handing over of Cheques to farmers by the Programme for the Improvement of Competiveness of Family Agro-pastoral Farms, ACEFA.  
According to the agriculture delegate public funds are not determined by the size but by the source. “Farmers should understand that when government mobilizes money to give them for a particular project, the project must be executed to its entirety. When they fail to do that, they are bridging the contract that they signed. And this money is tax payer’s money and all tax payers’ money is public funds.  It has to be used judiciously and for the purpose for which it was designed.” Joachim Metoh Mbah said
While praising the rigorous check mechanism put in place by ACEFA to check fraud, the Regional boss for agriculture reminded the beneficiary farmer’s common initiative groups which numbered up to 32 that it is not the size of money that makes someone to be charged for embezzlement of public funds. “If you embezzle a hundred thousand you are as liable as someone who has embezzled FCFA20bn. In fact even for FCFA10 you can go to prison.” He added.
The delegate was issuing the warning after 32cheques worth FCFA115million had just been handed “to producer groups to help them finance their agro pastoral investments projects. 
The remarks from the relatively new Regional Delegate for Agriculture and Rural Development for the NW comes at the time all seven divisions of the region are already covered by the project either through counseling support device or finances.
ACEFA sources say “239 counselors have been deployed in the region to give support to producer organizations on the technical and economic management of their farms and thus their production.”
In five years (2012) ACEFA is however yet to go beyond three divisions. The project has been heavily criticized by onlookers for concentrating over 246 projects amounting to FCFA 870million to only the regions of Bui, Mezam and Ngoketunjia.  “I cannot understand how a project like that will be funding more than 200 projects in only three divisions when four other divisions have noting. This is not fair I can even accuse the ACEFA people of bias or why not corruption. Those people are coming from Yaounde ad ending in Bamenda and handing cheques and going can they not go and hand in Nkame or Kumbo?” Johnson Liti fumed out of the hall. “Hear the projects they are funding farming and livestock are these things only in these three divisions?” he added
While maintaining that the projects are being funded on application and follow up the National Coordinator of ACEFA Dr Bouba Momini intimated that after evaluation all is going well with the funded projects with livelihoods improved and that is why they hope to sign the third phase in the nearest future. Though the coordinator will admit some cases of corruption in the execution of the projects with some counselors collecting money to purchase equipment an act not permitted, he will advise the farmers to hence forth do their negotiations by themselves.
Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or debakah2004@gmail.com.

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