By Bakah Derick
The Administration of North West Cooperative Association (NWCA) Ltd has taken steps to work with coffee farmers of Mbaw plane under the Donga Mantung Area Cooperative Union.
Installation of hauling machine in Bini village
The apex coffee cooperative structure in the region made her intention to unite with the farmers concrete on Monday 15 May 2023 with the installation of a mobile hauling machine in the area. Through a delegation to Sabongari headed by Plant Engineer Njeshu Godlove, NCWA Ltd installed the hauler in Bini village about 12km away from the central town.
“We took into consideration the electricity challenges this community is facing and that is why we provided a hauling machine with a diesel engine instead of an electric motor. For the rural community, it is better that we have a machine that is adapted to the area. They can easily get diesel to fuel to the machine.” Njeshue Godlove said
On hand to receive the machine were coffee farmers who felt reassured of better business with the support of NWCA Ltd. According to some, Licensed Buying Agents (LBAs) have not given them the assurance and advantages offered by NWCA Ltd for over the years that the cooperative was not around.
“I am very happy that we can also feel the impact of NWCA Ltd in Sabongari. We have been waiting for the cooperative for long and today they have not just come to buy coffee but have brought a hauling machine directly to us. I am very happy and I want them to be here more often because some other people come here and tell us things that are not true and collect our coffee.” Douglas Bini a coffee farmer noted
Following the vast nature of the Mbaw plane, NWCA Ltd provided a mobile hauling machine which can be moved from one area to another. After installing the hauler in Bini and effectively testing with several bags of coffee, the team visited the other places across the plane including Njenteh, Longrass to Kimi-Petel where coffee stores are located and identified the places where the machine can be placed.
To ensure sustainability, operators have been trained and spare parts provided.
“Dispositions have been taken for effective management and operation. There are two individuals that we have trained, that is the manager of the cooperative here and a mechanic who will work as an operator. We gave them initial lessons on how to run the machine. For the management, we came with essential spares that can last for two years.” Njeshu indicated
Though located under the Donga Mantung Area Cooperative, the Mbaw Plane area did not do business with NWCA Ltd . The farmers took a resolve to create Common Initiative Groups (CIGs) through which they sold their coffee to other institutions and LBAs. This however has not provided them the advantages that come from doing business with NWCA Ltd like no falsification of scales, regular incentives like fertilizers and insecticides as well as regular payment of balances. The union is expected to produce additional 300 to 500 tons of coffee for NWCA Ltd annually.
“We think it is our duty to listen to the farmers each time a request we consider useful is made. As you may know already, when things went really low for NWCA Ltd, we could not continue to do business in the Mbaw plane but now we are happy that the Donga Mantung Area Cooperative expressed the need for us to return to Sabongari and that is why we are going back there this time powerfully. It is our wish that this can also help the farmers improve their livelihoods and by so doing also improve the transformation level for us.” Waindim Timothy Ntam, GM NWCA Ltd said
Created in 1950, NWCA Ltd is a peasant farmer’s organization with over 35000 members from 11 Area Cooperative Unions including Donga Mantung, Fundong, Oku, Santa-Pinyin, Bali, Ndop, Bamenda, Nso and Belo. NWCA Ltd is currently the highest producer of Arabica coffee in Cameroon and occupies a comfortable position in the production of Robusta coffee with her flagship coffee brand Kola Coffee distribute in Bamenda, Cameroon and beyond.