In line with its commitment to promote comprehensive development in member countries, the Islamic Development Bank undertook a routine supervision mission to the South West Region of Cameroon from February 27th to March 1st March 2023. The objective of the routine mission was to assess the status of execution of the AIVDP activities across all components. The mission was composed of the Operational Team Leader (OTL) Br. Javed Kahn, Br. Sabiu Auwal the Project Management Specialist and Br. Ibrahim Sirajo, the Procurement Officer from IsDB Abuja Hub. The mission was also accompanied by a representative of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Territorial Development (MINEPAT), Governor of the Bank in Cameroon.
Upon the mission’s arrival, members of the Project Management Unit welcomed the team in Douala where they proceeded to visit a succession of factories tasked with the construction of Project equipment for two semi industrial processing mills for oil palm to be installed at Bombe Bakundu, Lakes Basin and Bachuo Akagbe in the Cross River Basin as well as two grinding mills for cocoa, to be installed in Kumba and Mamfe. Still in Douala, the Mission was also treated to a visit of one of the companies involved in the production of 50 motorized oil palm presses. The provision of motorized oil palm units will serve as a solution to the rudimentary methods used to extract oil palm, currently in use by many farmers across the Region.
Above: Mission makes stopover at SONEDIS and SOMCO for inspection and updates on status of execution for the motorized oil palm presses and processing units.
In addition to tours of factory premises where various equipment was presented and inspected, presentations on the level of execution of work in regards to the construction and assembly of equipment for the semi industrial oil processing units, were executed.
Equipped with updates on realizations from the manufacturers, the team headed to the Project’s HQ in Buea, where a presentation ensued with the M&E Officer reporting on the status of execution of Project activities. An array of issues were examined and discussed in regards to the physical realizations of the Project with recommendations and respective timelines put forth.
Above: The team visit (CAMFACOOP- BOD) headquaters and partake in discussions on the operationalization of the cooperative.
The second day saw the team embarking on a series of site visits which included (CAMFACOOP-BOD) a cassava cooperative located in Bomaka, and Tiko Area Cocoa and Coffee Cooperative Society (TIACOOP). Earlier in 2022 CAMFACOOP had been the recipient of one of the 300 cassava graters and presses that were distributed to cassava cooperatives, whilst TIACOOP is the beneficiary of cocoa fermentation facilities and cocoa greenhouse dyers to facilitate the production of the high-quality cocoa beans. Additionally, both cooperatives are recipients to a number of capacity building workshops which have enabled them to acquire skills to function as business enterprises. The stop over at TIACOOP also served as an opportunity for the Bank’s Mission to participate in exchanges with contractors of the cocoa equipment and receive confirmation to inquiries made in regards to when cocoa dryers would be ready to use, status execution of the work and difficulties faced on the field.
Above: The team visit TIACOOP and the OTL inspects the cocoa greenhouse dryers, a brief stopever at an oil palm nursery in Mile 14 Dibanda ensues.
To examine realizations in the agricultural productivity component, the mission made a stopover at a beneficiary oil palm nursery in Dibanda at Mile 14. The visit comes with the nearing of planting season, where the Project has and continues to support farmers through the distribution of improved planting materials such as cassava cuttings, oil palm chitted nuts, cocoa pods, plant plantlets, potatoes seeds, citrus seedlings, rice and ground nut seeds.
Above: Mission concludes field visit by embarking to Mile 16 Rural Market and converse with beneficiaries of the market infrastructure before proceeding to the construction site of SWAVIB Head office.
Further stopovers were made to the rural market in Mile 16 where the mission met with several market women and at the ongoing construction site of the SWAVIB Head office. The soon to be Flagship structure is to serve as the focal point charged with providing a line microfinance to farming communities in the Project area.
During a brief press interview the OTL expressed his satisfaction with the status of Project execution stating, ‘We’ve seen so many activities and are very satisfied with the sites that we’ve visited-although the Project is still ongoing we see people are already benefiting from it.’’
The three day mission concluded with a review of the Project Management in its entirety where recommendations and action plans were formulated to address issues encountered and discussed over the course of the visit.