Agriculture: NW Coffee Farmers resolve to intensify production, keep apex cooperative top

By Bakah Derick 

Coffee farmers in the North West Region have resolved to intensify efforts towards improving coffee production so as to keep their apex organization as the highest producer of coffee in the country. The resolve was made in Bamenda on Friday 14 April 2023 during the annual general meeting of the North West Cooperative Association (NWCA) Ltd. 
Delegates at the NWCA Ltd General assembly 

The resolve followed concerns raised by the association's new president on the decline in production. According to Ndikwa Peter Bayo all was going well before the armed conflict stepped in. 

"Coffee production is facing a lot of challenges first because of the socio political crises in the region. When we look at our production you can see that after 2014, we were on the rise and immediately crisis came in, we are declining; why? There are some of the areas where our union management cannot penetrate there because of the crisis and there are certain areas where it is risky for us to invest." Ndikwa Peter observed

Ndikwa Peter Bayo President NWCA Ltd 

Away from the sociopolitical crises, the farmers have to battle with issues of high cost of farm inputs leading to a drop in coffee production. 

Following the 2022 accounts, supervisory committee and the general manager's adopted reports, it emerged that the demand for coffee from NWCA Ltd is continously on the increase both at the local and international market thus the need to intensify production to meet the demands. 

"We are happy that our coffee is being consumed locally. Now with the high consumption of Kola Coffee locally, we are no longer into payment of a lot of custom duties. This means that  farmers can be paid higher and this can only happened when they produce more coffee." NWCA Ltd GA delegate Amadou Victorine said. 
Previously, coffee farmers received chemicals from the government which went a long way to improve yields. For several years now, this has not been the case. While expressing gratitude for the regular support with fertilizers, the farmers have expressed the wish to have specific  chemicals for arabica and robusta coffee 
The President has expressed the wish for more youths to be be encouraged into coffee production so as to guarantee sustainability in future as the current group of coffee farmers is largely made up of elderly persons. 

The NWCA Ltd general assembly has also hinted on diversification into plantain production considering that the region has a climate favourable to its production. 
Waindim Timothy Ntam NWCA Ltd General Manager 

Created in 1950, NWCA Ltd has maintained a leadership position in the coffee production sector in Cameroon. With 12 affiliated Cooperative Credit Unions and over 40 societies made up of well over 35.000 farmers from across the North West Region of Cameroon actively involved in the cultivation of coffee, the apex organization managed by Waindim Timothy Ntam hopes to stay on top of the industry through innovative production and marketing techniques. 

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