AGRIBUSINESS PROMOTION IN CAMEROON: YOUTH INVOLVEMENT IN GREEN PEPPER VALUE CHAIN IN MUEA AND EKONA MBENGE
By: Tchuimaleunene Ngamakam Herve Durand | Department of Development Studies | Environment and Agriculture
Green Pepper is a major spice and vegetable widely consumed by majority of the population locally and regionally. Currently local and sub-regional demand for green pepper is high. Despite the significance of green pepper in the economy and current income generating capacity, increasingly fewer young people (youth) are involved in the green pepper value chain and even those who are involved either directly or indirectly in green pepper value chain, very few studies have typified the actors, the nature and extent of their participation and challenges in green pepper value chain in the study area. This study was undertaken to assess youth involvement along green pepper value chain in Muea and Ekona Mbenge. The study sought to map out the value chain of green pepper in Muea and Ekona Mbenge that youths are involved in, evaluate the nature and Extent of youth involvement along the green pepper value chain and identify the challenges encountered by youth involved in green pepper value chain in the study area with recommendation. The descriptive survey design was utilized for the study. Primary data were generated through pre-tested questionnaire, while secondary data was obtained from desk top reviews. The result indicated that green pepper value chain nodes/stages in the Muea and Ekona Mbenge include procurement of inputs, production, marketing and consumption. Actors identified under the different nodes included: input suppliers, producers, marketers (retailers, wholesalers) and consumers. There was no actor involved in transformation. The highest youth involvement was on marketing 123 (51.7%), followed by production 89 (37.4%), and the least being the procurement of production inputs. 69 (29%). It was also found out that youth in the different nodes/stages of the green pepper value chain have above two years experiences. The outstanding challenges in the different green pepper value chain nodes in the study area included: inadequate access to inputs; the lack of access to agricultural credit, rainfall variability, high labour costs, high pests incidence and insecurity. For more youth to be involved in the green pepper value chain, there is the need for provision of inputs, improvement of marketing facilities, the provision of market information, creation of a price fixing mechanism, training of farmers on insecticide and pesticide application. Sustainable value chain development should be promoted by the government and other stakeholder through support with the necessary infrastructure for each node/stage in green pepper value chain.
Key words: Value Chain, Youth, Green Pepper, Agribusiness