Cameroon has identified agricultural development and the rural sector as the fundamental option for achieving the strategy objectives for the growth and jobs. Agropastoral activities contribute more than 40 per cent in export revenues, 41per cent in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and hire 80 per cent of the active population. They are the main source of income for rural populations and the main pillar of the country's food security.
The diagnosis of the current system of agro pastoral and rural statistics in MINADER and MINEPIA, which are mainly responsible for the policies of the rural sector in Cameroon, shows that the current production of statistical data on this sector of activity is far to be satisfied
For several years, the quality of agro pastoral statistics data has been deteriorated. Statistical production in the agriculture and livestock domains is characterized by the following parameters:
- The obsolescence or lack of structural data
Nevertheless, the structural data of the Cameroon agricultural sector are from agricultural census carried out in 1984/85 and that have become outdated. The sampling frames of the surveys on agro pastoral production date back several decades, which constitutes a major handicap for the data reliability. This situation constitutes an obstacle for the Government and other users wishing to have reliable, complete and up-to-date statistical data necessary for the formulation of development programs, the monitoring of the food situation and the estimation of main aggregates of the national accounts.
- Poor integration and dissemination of existing data
This situation is explained not only by the spread of data sources, their punctual nature and the use of non-harmonized methodologies, but also by the partitioning between agricultural statistics and the national statistical system. Despite the implementation of the CountrySTAT platform, there is still a lack of modern and performance technical tools that facilitate an operation, access and wide dissemination of available data.
- The weakness of technical, operational and institutional capacities at the level of MINADER and MINEPIA
There are structures in charge of the production of agro pastoral statistics in MINADER and MINEPIA namely the Directorate of Surveys and Agricultural Statistics at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (DESA / MINADER) and the Division of Studies, Planning, Cooperation and Statistics at the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries (DEPCS / MINEPIA). However, they do not have adequate and / or operational survey infrastructures at regional and divisional level, even if corresponding posts exist in the professional category of regional and divisional Delegations.
In fact, the technical and operational capacities currently in place for the statistical production of the rural sector difficultly enable to meet the expectations of users.
The above mentioned shortcomings constitute a major constraint to enlighten the Government and the operators of the rural sector, on the strategic and investment choices, the implementation of the Rural Sector Development Strategy (SDSR) as well as evaluation of the impact of the resulting programs. In order to provide lasting solutions to these problems, the Government of Cameroon is engaged in the realization of the General Census of Agriculture and Livestock (RGAE), established by Presidential Decree N0. 2015/292 of June 29, 2015.