The Grassfield Participatory and Decentralised Rural Development Project (GP-DERUDEP) is a poverty alleviation initiative co-funded by the Government of the Republic of Cameroon, the African Development Bank and the Beneficiary Communities.
This is the third Rural Development project funded in the North West Region of Cameroon after the North West High Plateau Rural Development project (phase 1) 1982-1989 and the North west High Plateau Rural Development project (phase 2 reformulated) of 1999-2002. (Both fondly referred to as MIDENO 1 & MIDENO 2-R).
GP-DERUDEP has as objective to contribute to poverty alleviation in the rural areas of the North West Region through increasing the incomes of rural farmers by increasing agricultural output and improving their socio-economic environment.
GP-DERUDEP intervention area covers the whole of the North West Region of Cameroon.
To achieve its objectives, GP-DERUDEP hinges on the following four components.
- Agricultural Development
This component ensures the expansion of arable areas and the intensification of production through the traction, improved seeds, inputs notably organic fertilizer, suitable technological packages and methods for reducing post-harvest losses. This component also facilitates the integration of crops and livestock for better management of agro-sylvo-pastoral area, animal health improvement and the promotion of short cycle livestock rearing and fish farming; as well as access to marketing facilities.
- Capacity Building
This component ensures that the capacities of the beneficiary communities of the project are sufficiently strengthened through training of members of their village development committees and associations and agricultural producers to be able to use participatory approaches in organizing, planning and the management of their activities. Literacy training of producers, sensitization in the prevention and control of endemic diseases and HIV/AIDS, and the equipment of field partners in information Education and Communication methods, mobilization and rural outreach constitute other expectations of this component.
- Support to Rural Infrastructure
This component ensures the provision of rural and community infrastructure at the village and communal levels such as potable water schemes, health centers, storage houses, pastoral water points, farm to market roads, community welfare centers and classrooms which are co-financed with the beneficiaries. This component also ensures the set-up and functioning of a Local Development Fund for financing of priority community infrastructures.
- Project Coordination and Management
The day-to-day management of GP-DERUDEP is ensured by a Project Implementation Unit which is made up of a multi-disciplinary team of eight experts, comprising a Coordinator (team leader), a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, an Agronomist, a Community Development Officer, an Infrastructure Engineer, An Environmentalist, a socio-economist and an Accountant.
To ensure a hitch free operation in the field, a 14-man steering Committee representing all the projects stakeholders and headed by the Governor of the North West Region meets twice yearly to deliberate on project activities.
The strategy adopted for the implementation of GP-DERUDEP revolves around that of decentralized rural development; notably community development at village level. A central role is given to partnership, dialogue, consultation, empowerment and the participation of village communities, producers, development partners, governmental services and private operators in participatory diagnosis and implementation of project activities.
The executions of specific tasks are entrusted to qualified and credible organizations and individuals. All activities Take into consideration gender issues and environmental mitigation measures. Beneficiary groups are highly associated in the design and implementation of all activities. Planned agricultural development activities in general reflect the involvement of the rural population, particularly women and youths within the village associations, Common Initiative Groups and Agricultural Professional Organizations.
After the successful execution of the Grassfield Project phase one from March 2005 to June 2010, the Government of Cameroon resolved to carry on with a second phase to consolidate and capitalize the successes of the firsts phase. In this light, an ADB identification mission visited the North West Region.
This mission looked at the realizations of the first phases and the strategy for the implementation of a second phase of the Grassfield Project. On the heels of this identification mission, an ADB preparatory mission is currently in Cameroon from 25 February to 15 March 2013.