The Upper Nun Valley Development Authority (UNVDA) is a development corporation created in 1970 as a Mission by Presidential Decree No 70/DF/529 of October 29, 1970 and later transformed into a development authority by another Presidential Decree No 78/157 of May 11, 1978. Its present statutory area of intervention touches five Divisions of the North West and West Regions of Cameroon, namely: Mezam, Ngoketunjia and Bui in the North West, and Noun and Bamboutos in the West Regions.
The Presidential Decree No. 78/157 of May 11, 1978 gives UNVDA the mandate to handle the development of the agricultural sector in the Upper Nun Valley and redefines its functions within the framework of direct intervention in rice production, processing and marketing. UNVDA equally gives technical and material support to the farmers.
The aim and objectives of the Corporation as spelt out in Article 4 of Decree No. 78/157 of May 11, 1978 are as follows:
- Acquisition, creation, administration, exploitation and development of all agricultural undertakings plus the transformation and packaging of their produce notably from crops like rice, soya beans and any raw produce in general including animal breeding produce.
- The creation management and development of hydro-agricultural and road projects on public land that would enhance agricultural expansion in the Upper Nun Valley i.e. to construct and maintain dams, dykes, polders and drainage systems, roads and other works needed for the achievement of the Corporation’s objectives under this section
- Assist farmers and their groupings involved in cultivation whose production are susceptible to be collected conditioned and transformed within the Corporation’s infrastructural network in the Upper Nun Valley.
- Execution of commercial and industrial and commercial operations which can be attached to the above aims
- Hiring, buying and selling all buildings and lands, creation of all industrial and commercial establishments or any enterprise also having links with the above objectives including all operations connected directly or indirectly with the activities defined here-in-above or having the characteristics to enhance their development.
- Settle farmers to occupy and farm on land developed by the Corporation.
- To undertake the multiplication of improved seeds for farmers.
- To train staff for the running and maintenance of rural development schemes and for general extension work at the village level.
HOW UNVDA WORKS
Since its creation, UNVDA has been placed under the Supervisory Authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for the general policy and supervision of the activities of the Corporation through its Board of Directors headed by a Chairperson. The Board of Directors approves the activities to be carried out by the Corporation and execution is effected by Management which is headed by the General Manager as its Chief Executive.
The total population of UNVDA’s area of intervention stands at about 450,000 inhabitants and close to 90% of these are farmers. UNVDA presently works with about 13,000 rice farmers, within the framework of our triennial plan for 2013-2015; our target is to raise the size of this farmer population to at least 70,000.
PRIORITY ACTIVITIES IN UNVDA'S AREA OF INTERVENTION
- Activities aimed at increasing rice production
- Seed Multiplication :
Tones of quality rice seeds are produced and distributed to our contact farmers on yearly basis. UNVDA also carries out training of farmers on appropriate seed selection techniques and a good number are now producing good quality seeds for their own use and for distribution to other farmers.
- Agricultural extension :
UNVDA assists farmers of the area in the use of improved farming techniques through the provision of extension services especially in the domain of rice cultivation. Our frontline extension workers live with the farmers and offer technical advice and equipment hiring to the farmers on daily basis.
UNVDA equally assists in organizing rice farmers into Common Initiative Groups (CIGS), Unions and Federations. The result of this is the existence of 257 CIGs and economic interest groups of rice farmers in the Upper Nun Valley area.
Participatory capacity building training programs in Group Dynamics and Appropriate Rice Cultivation Techniques are frequently being organized to meet the needs of farmers; from continuous diagnosis of farmers’ problems through follow up, experience sharing and exchange visits.
- Inputs supply :
UNVDA supports rice farmers with basic farm inputs like fertilizers and herbicides by pre-financing the acquisition and distribution of these inputs which most farmers pay back after paddy sales.
- Development and maintenance of paddy fields :
Over the years, UNJVDA has used its equipment pool to develop and maintain about 2532 hectares of paddy fields, which are now being used by farmers for irrigated paddy production. The Corporation undertakes the maintenance of these infrastructure and resources together with the participation of these farmers.
- Seed Multiplication :
- Activities aimed at facilitating access to rural
infrastructure for farmers:
- Construction and maintenance of irrigation and drainage
The main irrigation structures constructed by UNVDA include 14 dams, 49 distributors and about 22 km of irrigation/drainage canals. We also carry out regular maintenance of these structures with the participation of the farmers.
Bulldozing and maintenance of access roads: Since its creation, UNVDA has bulldozed and regularly maintained about 150 km of access roads into the paddy fields of the area.
- Construction and maintenance of irrigation and drainage infrastructure :
- Activities aimed at facilitating the processing
and marketing of farmers produce:
- Purchase of paddy :
UNVDA provides the necessary facilities to ease the buying of paddy from farmers at the various collection centers and its eventual storage and transportation to the main store for processing.
(Picture paddy in bags)
- Processing of paddy into finished rice products :
To maintain high quality standards in the rice sub-sector, UNVDA assists farmers by using its state-of-the-art hulling facility with a capacity of 3.5 tones/hr to process paddy into finished rice products and by-products; and then facilitates its marketing within the country. The finished products are packaged in varying weight units of 50kg, 25kg, 10kg, 5kg, and 2kg.
- Distribution and sale of finished products :
Supply centers or sales out lets are being created in the major cities within the country to facilitate the distribution and sale of the finished products which mainly include: white natural rice, parboiled rice, unpolished rice, broken rice and rice bran.
- Purchase of paddy :
- Activities aimed at ensuring the sustainable
management of natural resources:
- Sensitization on sustainable land use systems :
In order to halt environmental degradation caused by crop production and grazing activities in the area, we organize sensitization and concertation forums on sustainable harnessing and preservation of land resources.
- Pasture improvement :
This activity aims at reducing the conflicts that occur between crop producers and grazers who come into the area on transhumance every year. We are presently sourcing for funding for this activity which will also include the construction of cattle drinking points and the training of grazers on improved pasture management.
- Aforestation/reforestation :
This activity is an attempt by UNVDA to reverse the effects of deforestation caused during the development of paddy fields and other infrastructure in the area (Such as the Bamendjin dam)
- Sensitization on sustainable land use systems :
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates that Cameroon imports over 400,000 tonnes of clean rice per year, despite the enormous potentials for the production of the crop in the country. Research results, show that in many parts of the country, paddy yields can reach 8-10 tons/ha, with the possibility of growing more than one crop per year in some areas.
UNVDA carried out its activities smoothly in view of helping farmers harness these potentials until the economic crisis stroke the country in the late 1980s. By 1988, the Corporation was earmarked for liquidation, and has since then functioned with difficulties due to inadequate funding for over twenty years.
Considering the important role it plays in the development of the area and in the promotion of rice production, the state reconsidered its decision and enlisted UNVDA with other state corporations for rehabilitation. The rehabilitation exercise is ongoing since 2009.
Presently, the corporation is under a restructuring programme which is expected to give rise to a new institutional framework consisting of a new institutional framework which includes the concept of a development corporation (the New UNVDA) whose main objective would be to enhance farmers’ production activities, and a business oriented processing company whose capital structure would reflect the transfer of processing and marketing functions to farmers and economic operators.
The area of intervention of the New UNVDA would be extended to other areas of the Southern part of Cameroon so as to increase the number of beneficiaries and substantially boost the country’s rice production. We have envisaged the development of 20,000 ha of paddy fields for some 70,000 small holder farmers and 10,000 ha for mechanised rice production and increase annual paddy production to about 500 000 tonnes in ten years.
UNVDA Brand Services and Products
- 3000 ha of land developed for rice cultivation
- 169 km of farm-to-market roads improved
- 15 paddy buying and collection centres
- Functional equipment pool for hiring equipment by farmers
- State-of-the-art multi- product rice mill
- Seasoned natural rice products
Present and prospective funding sources
Present Funding Sources : As of now, UNVDA relies mainly on government subventions and internally generated funds to sponsor its activities. Our main internal funding sources include the hiring out of equipment and sales of clean rice and rice by-products.
Prospective Funding Sources : One of the main strategies for the revival of the activities of UNVDA is the building of sustainable partnerships with non-governmental organisations and funding institutions. Possible areas that may be of interest to external funders and other actors include:
- Natural resources management : Irrigation water management, including the construction and maintenance of irrigation and drainage infrastructure;
- The construction and maintenance of farm-to-market roads;
- Seed multiplication and
- Support to farmers organisations
- Direct involvement in rice production as is the case today with ECOFARMS presently developing 150 ha for rice production in collaboration with UNVDA.
Adress : BP 25 NDOP
Tél. : (+237) 691 798 372
Fax : (+237) 691 798 318
Web : http://www.unvdandop.com