Cameroon has unveiled a $100 million project aimed at accelerating the digital transformation of its agricultural sector. The project, known as PATNuC, is receiving support from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which provides grants and low- to zero-interest loans to the world’s most economically challenged nations.
PATNuC, set to extend until 2027, will be a collaborative effort involving several ministries: Posts and Telecommunications, Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries, and Agriculture and Rural Development.
The project encompasses three key components. The first addresses digital disparities in rural areas by enhancing digital connectivity and inclusion. The second aims to fortify strategies, policies, and regulatory frameworks for cultivating a robust, secure, and inclusive digital economy. The third facet focuses on facilitating the deployment of data-driven solutions to drive agricultural innovation.
Dr. Fuaye Kenji Winfred Mfuh, PATNuC’s national coordinator, expressed plans to ensure affordable telecom services and widespread broadband coverage, especially in the agricultural domain. Mfuh emphasized the intention to empower small-scale farmers with technology for enhanced production, market access, and personal development.
The project targets engaging over 30,500 small producers by 2027, empowering them with digital tools to amplify productivity. The World Bank recognizes the hindrance posed by limited and costly broadband access to Cameroon’s economic transition. The PATNuC initiative is designed to alleviate these challenges.
Cheick Kanté, World Bank Country Director for Cameroon, affirmed their commitment to collaborating with the government on this timely project, which not only nurtures communication technology but also broadens ICT accessibility nationwide, particularly in underserved regions.