The inuguration of the Yabassi Professional Agriculture High School on Tuesday September 11 marks another episode of fostering the second generation agriculture.
As part of efforts to give more meaning to education and curb unemployment, Cameroon’s pioneer professional agriculture high school went operational last year in Yabassi, Nkam Division, Littoral region. The school is the first of 10 to be created in all of Cameroon’s 10 regions in line with government’s policy of promoting modern agriculture and involving young people in the second generation agriculture in order to boost output. The Yabassi Professional Agriculture High School with an enrolment of 200 students is fruit of bilateral cooperation between Cameroon and China. The modern infrastructure characterised by modern classrooms, laboratories and processing workshops is worth FCFA 7.5 billion with FCFA 1 billion being counterpart funding by the Cameroon government. The Minister of Secondary Education, Nalova Lyonga, was in Yabassi on Tuesday September 11, to inaugurate the first-ever agricultural school which offers youngsters aged 12 to 22 agricultural enterprise-like training. The high school comprising the first and second cycles offers courses in crop and animal production as well as modern processing and other hands-on modules. With the creation and operationalisation of the institution for young learners, the government is bent on fostering the concept of second generation agriculture launched in 2011 by President Paul Biya during the Ebolowa Agro-pastoral show. Impacting technical and agricultural skills in youths from the tender age of 12 is a pointer to the fact that Cameroon wants to sustainably boost its agricultural output and make it a profitable industry to absorb thousands of youth. Apart from the Yabassi Professional Agriculture High School, the government has also been promoting agricultural training in different localities and at diverse levels. The Agriculture Practicing School (known by its French acronym as EPAB) in Bingela and other institutions are littered in every corner of the country. At the higher level, the faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Buea and the Faculty of Agronomy in the University of Dschang are churning out qualified agricultural experts yearly. All of these training institutions are intended to develop a solid foundation for sustainable second generation agriculture training. Agriculture constitute the main stay of the country’s economy employing about 70 per cent of the population and contributing about 20 per cent to the country’s GDP.