The socio-political climate and limited fertilizer is slowing down coffee production.

Fonfuka Joseph, president of the Nso area cooperative Union laments as farmers in his territory have difficulties accessing farms to cultivate and harvest:

“Farm to market roads are not good. Farmers cannot go to their farms without meeting separatists on the way who sometimes attack them. This makes many to shy away from the farming activity.” Another cooperative Union head Lawrence Tukwo from Njinikom, says coupled with insecurity, they have to battle with insecticide and youth rural exodus “there are insects that come and eat coffee… We do not always have money to buy insecticides. Adding to that, youths have fled to the city leaving behind elders who do not have enough strength to grow the plants… This is making coffee production slow.”

The North West region of Cameroon has fertile volcanic soil and high altitudes which favor the growth of Arabia and Robusta coffee. In 2015, more than 615 tons of the grains were sold out home and abroad.

7 cocoa and coffee unions have gathered under the North West Cooperative Association (NWCA) to assist each other in the production of these crops which are among the main crops grown in the region. Speaking during the general assembly of NWCA, the president Peter Ndikwa Bayo attested the present unrest has led to a drop in production but they are working tirelessly to boost farmers “we give loans to farmers, market their products… We also act as middleman between stakeholders and farmers and see to it that the farmers can reap greatly from their work.”

This 2023, the ministry of agriculture and rural development has donated more than 2000 bags of fertilizer have been given to farmers through NWCA to assist them. Farmers see a bright future for coffee in the North West region of Cameroon should financial assistance be accompanied by skills on coffee production “the future of coffee is very bright. Yes government is really supporting us but I think that if many of us farmers get good education on how to nurse, and harvest these seeds, we will have more fruits of good quality” Irene Yanshe a coffee farmer in Oku.

They add, that more advertisement be done on locally produced coffee to lure consumers and youths should be drilled on the benefits of coffee farming so that many could embark on the journey thereby increasing production.

Source: Cameroon News Agency