Cameroon: Evaluation of Bank Group Assistance to the Agriculture and Rural Development Sector, 1996-2004

Overview

  • Evaluation Type: Country Assistance Evaluation
  • Date Posted: 26/02/2008
  • Date Completed: 04/03/2008
  • Reference: CA10003
  • Status: Completed

Evaluation Team

This report was prepared by Mr. P.A ROCHON, Principal Evaluation Officer, and Mr. Berté KAMA, Consultant, following a mission to Cameroon from 5 to 23 March 2007. Questions on this report should be referred to Mr. H. RAZAFINDRAMANANA,

    Objective

    The main objective of this evaluation is to conduct a systematic assessment of Bank assistance to Cameroon's agriculture and rural development sector, in terms of Bank and national strategies and assistance through lending and non-lending operations. This evaluation focuses on the results obtained by the assistance program from 1996 to 2004. With regard to policies and strategies, it draws lessons that could be used in improving future interventions. Its conclusions will supplement similar studies conducted in other sectors, and be taken into account in the evaluation of Bank Group assistance in Cameroon.

    Main Findings

    Main Lessons

    • Large-scale projects (in a wide geographical area) without an adequate management mechanism have little chance of achieving satisfactory results because of implementation and supervision difficulties.
    • The inadequate involvement of and ownership by Ministerial services in project management could undermine the sustainability of institutional development and project/program outcomes.
    • Projects with a high number of components have little chance of producing satisfactory results; the same applies to projects with very few components.
    • The search for cofinancing could enhance dialogue between partners and speed up the harmonization process.
    • The inadequate formal dialogue between the Government and the private sector does not facilitate access to agricultural financing, and consequently does not promote the development of the sector.
    • Limited access to local financing is a constraint on the sustainability of project outputs.

    Main Recommendations

    Recommendations to the Bank:

    • To ensure the harmonization of assistance, to work well, the Bank needs to address the long term vision in its CSP periodicity
    • Give preference to projects with a reduced number of components over a smaller geographical area as they are proven to havebetter results and greater impact.
    • Give more decision-making powers to task managers in order to improve communication between the Bank and the PIUs
    • Initiate studies to identify viable sub-sectors of the agricultural private sector or use the existing project databanks (RSDS, NEPAD). The MTEF has identified projects to be financed that could revitalize the sector. Support could be given to programs that promote the competitiveness of agricultural products and the development of professional farmer organizations. Supporting the development of agricultural credit and contributing to the creation of specialized financial establishments are actions that could contribute to the development of economic activities in rural areas. The Bank’s strategy of giving priority to infrastructures under the current CSP could promote the development of agricultural markets that generate private sector growth;
    • Prospect for possibilities of co-financing sub-regional projects (agricultural research, food security). The FAO pilots the sub-regional food security program. The Bank needs to participate in the consolidation of the pilot phase (SP-SFSP). The Bank launched an identification study for the Agricultural Research Regional Integration Project (PIRRA). Considering IRAD’s achievements, this institution could be retained as the benchmark structure in the implementation of this project.

    Recommendation(s) to the Beneficiary

    • Establish a resource mobilization strategy that will lead to timely availability of counterpart funds
    • Create the conditions for sustained dialogue with the agricultural private sector in order to develop the existing potential
    • Promote the development of the seed producer profession in rural areas
    • Encourage sub-regional project development initiatives in the areas of research and food security
    • Encourage the development of microfinance in Cameroon’s rural areas for the agriculture and rural development sector

     

     

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