International volunteer assistance to sustainable development projects

2017 : AVe missions for a cooperative of pork producers - Cameroon

AVe support to a pork producers cooperative in the Center Cameroon region

SCOOPS-PIC (Société Coopérative Simplifiée des Productions Porcines Industrielles du Centre Cameroun) is one of the first pork producer cooperatives in the Central region of Cameroon to be set up.It was created in 2016 (recognition by the Cameroonian authorities obtained in October 2016). It iincludes around twenty members. The establishment of this cooperative corresponds to the emergence of a pork sector in the country. Once the formalities for the creation of the SCOOPS-PIC have been completed, the managers of the cooperative sought French partners to help them to develop their strategic project. Discussions with our association AVe and the In Vivo Foundation led to the signing of a tripartite partnership agreement in April 2017.



An original partnership to develop the cooperative project

Two French partners, the AVe Association and the In Vivo Foundation have pledged support to SCOOPS-PIC to help it develop its strategic project. It is an original partnership, because everyone has brought their specific skills and experiences : AVe, the achievements of several agricultural projects in Africa and the In Vivo Foundation, which has just been created by the 1st French cooperative group "In Vivo", an asset of a century of experience in agricultural cooperation in France. This original partnership is represented by the following diagram :



A multi-step approach

To develop the strategic project, the three partners agreed on a multi-step approach represented by the following schedule 

Beginning of June : a 2-week diagnostic mission

In early June 2017, Louis Jestin, AVe expert, travelled to Yaounde for two weeks to carry out a survey of SCOOPS-PIC members. During this "diagnostic" mission (June 3 to 17), he investigated 17 pig producers out of the 20 members of the cooperative. He was able to visit 14 farms and meet 3 others.


This survey answered the basic questions : Who are they ? Where are they ? What are they producing today ? What will they produce tomorrow ? How do they market ?
Originality of the cooperative : there are four women members and most of them are very well-educated. The AVe expert, with an outside eye, was able to draw up an overall assessment of the cooperative with five positive points and ten negative points. For the members of the cooperative, this survey was a real revelation, because everyone knew of course their own situation but they had no knowledge of what their group represented. During this trip, the expert also met several actors in the pig sector : a feed mill (feed products), a veterinary pharmacy, one of the pig markets in Yaounde, a public slaughterhouse equipped with a pig slaughter facility as well as the director of a supermarket in Yaounde, several senior officials and even the Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries Minister (MINEPIA). The conclusions of these two surveys were summarized in two diagnoses : one on the Cooperative and one on the pig economic sector. 



End of June 2017, a 1- week "seminar" mission

The seminar mission (June 24 to July 1) went particularly well. Several actions were carried out simultaneously : the seminar, the meeting of key actors in this project and several interesting field visits. René Foche, President of SCOOPS-PIC, showed his organisational skills and his sense of public relations. The three partners : the members of SCOOPS-PIC, the AVe experts and rIn Vivo Foundation representatives shared  highlights for the future of the cooperative.
The seminar itself took place in three mornings enabled to finalize the cooperative's strategic project. The first morning was held in the presence of 40 people, half of whom were guests : senior officials, the director of Casino de Yaoundé... and even the Minister of Livestock, who made a nearly one hour appearance, in support of the SCOOPS-PIC initiative. During this morning, the two diagnoses, the one of SCOOPS-PIC and the other of the pig economic sector were presented by Louis Jestin, AVe expert. Emmanuel Pruvost (In Vivo) presented the technical bases of pig farming. The other two mornings, which were reserved to SCOOPS-PIC members, were conducted by the two AVe experts, Louis Jestin and Jean-François Montin. In a good atmosphere where everyone spontaneously expressed himself, the cooperative's strategic project was finalized and adopted by its members. The afternoons were devoted to meetings with key players : the Minister of Livestock and the livestock specialist for Africa of the World Bank.. and also to visits to the breeding and the food factory of the president of the SCOOPS-PIC.

  Sitting on the right : Jean-François Montin, AVe
Standing expert: Rachel Kolbe of the in Vivo foundation In the background on the left Louis Jestin, AVe expert
  In the center : His Excellency the Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries, surrounded (on the right) by Louis Jestin, and (on the left) by Rachel Kolbe and René Foche, President of SCOOPS -PIC      

Summer 2017: drafting of the cooperative's reference document

The two missions made it possible to gather all necessary information to formalize a reference document of the cooperative. This writing task will be carried out by the two AVe experts Louis Jestin and Jean-François Montin at their home. The inevitable adjustments before the final version will be done remotely through internet exchanges with the cooperative's mannager. This complete reference document will include : the presentation of the cooperative and the pork economic sector in Central Cameroon and in addition  the Cooperative project and the resulting business plan as well as the roadmaps for the next five years which will be devoted to the cooperative project implementation.

From September 2017 : search for funding

The reference document will be essential for the Cooperative in its relationship with the financiers, the Cameroonian authorities and the banks. The Cooperative adopts its project when the PRODEL (PROgramme de Développement de l'Elevage) has just been adopted by the Camero onian Government in collaboration with the World Bank. During the two missions, meetings with the PRODEL coordinator and the Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries (MINEPIA) allowed exchanges on the conditions for granting the aid for the cooperative project. From September 2017, the cooperative will be able to present the reference document to potential funders of its project (PRODEL and African banks).
At the end of this process, the SCOOP-PIC's  future prospects have been clarified. Now, the Cooperative knows what needs to be put in place to meet its members expectations. The two French partners AVe Association and the In Vivo Foundation contributed to this first important step "knowing where to go". During the discussions in June 2017, the managers of the cooperative told us that they wanted to continue the collaboration for the future, namely the implementation of the project.







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