Now the farmers get milked!
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CTA. 1999. Now the farmers get milked!. Spore 80. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48410
Internet URL: http://sporearchive.cta.int/spore80/SP7_80A.html
Clovis Nguela Gatchue-Si, in Cameroon, has much to complain about the lot of the poor farmer: 'The real issues for farmer-driven development lie elsewhere, beyond all the hollow speeches, roundtables, conferences, debates, and symposia held for...
Clovis Nguela Gatchue-Si, in Cameroon, has much to complain about the lot of the poor farmer: 'The real issues for farmer-driven development lie elsewhere, beyond all the hollow speeches, roundtables, conferences, debates, and symposia held for masses of dollars all over the world, with a few leading political and independent personalities, plus NGOs seeking popular backing and 'positioning'. The State should be more active everywhere, upstream and downstream, with backing from the donors and international agencies. It should introduce fairer legislation for a more just distribution of land, give farmers more information and training, and look after the marketing circuits, so that the farmer has a decent and more humane income. How many of us coffee and cocoa producers, lauded in their speeches, can afford a cup of our own produce? And the State should change its policy (if it's got one!) through grants and loans from specialised banks, so that agricultural equipment can be manufactured or imported at low cost, and so that it can help to raise production, in terms of both quantity and quality. One of the most highly regarded farmers of Cameroon was heard confessing to a Belgian colleague (at the 64th Agricultural and Forest Fair in Libramont, Belgium, in July 1998): 'I can do in one month what you can do in one day with your machine.' His neighbour chipped in: 'You know, their sheep in Belgium are the size of our cows, and their cows are the size of an elephant in the forest of Nkondjock where I come from.' Farmers must always be involved in managing their affairs, in all decision-makingbodies, whether national or international. Until they are, one thing is clear. The Cameroonian farmer, and probably the farmer in most ACP countries, will be treated like a dairy cow, with no decent pasture, nor rest. This cow will have to carry the burden of the State and its intermediaries on its back, with their pernicious taxes and duties. Quite honestly, it should be rushed into intensive care, if there is no end to the growing numbers of urban and rural mouths tugging on its udders'