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Centre-Cameroon: Strategies to improve the situation of local flour producers and processors

A workshop between local flour industry players and SAILD representatives was held on May 29, 2024 at the esplanade of the Tou’Ngou Hotel in Yaounde.

The aim of this workshop was to define strategies for developing a support plan for entrepreneurs using local flours to make bread and pastries in the Centre-Cameroon region. The workshop brought together over 25 stakeholders, including local flour producers and processors, a microfinance institution, 03 consultant members of the Citizen Association for the Defense of Collective Interests(ACDIC) and 05 members of the project team. A few months ago, the Support Service for Local Development Initiatives (SAILD) initiated a study of the situation of actors involved in the use of local flours for bread and pastry making in the Centre-Cameroon region. The aim is to highlight the challenges, opportunities and development prospects for this sector.

The results of the study showed that there is a low rate of local flour production by producers in the Centre. Most of them do not produce large quantities and are mostly involved in processing, which does not allow them to be efficient. The aim of this workshop was therefore to take into account the participants’ comments and contributions to the study report. After a brief presentation of the results by Chanceline Boutchouang, ACDIC consultant, the relevant reactions were retained.

Proposals for improvements

On the other hand, developing a strategy to strengthen the players involved in producing bread and pastries from local flours was on the agenda. Participants put forward a number of proposals. These included: Form a network with all workshop participants to exchange experiences and support each other; Encourage local flour producers to standardize their products to have identical flours, and facilitate group orders if players want to attack the international market; Approve flour prices to facilitate market access; Identify partners who can subsidize local flour production; Standardize the incorporation rate at 50% wheat / 50% local flour and why not 100% incorporation.

The massive importation of wheat, its high price and even the scarcity of such flours in Cameroon have prompted the local community to consider ways of replacing wheat flour with local flours. To this end, SAILD recently implemented a program entitled “Strengthening community enterprises incorporating local flours in bread and pastry making in the central region of Cameroon“. This project is part of the recent import-substitution policy put in place by the Cameroonian government to promote local production and encourage consumption of “made in Cameroon” products in order to rebalance the balance of trade.

machesharon1@gmail.com

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