North West Cooperative Association (NWCA): A Decade of Trailblazing sustainable agriculture in Cameroon

Waindim Timothy Ntam, General Manager NWCA Ltd

Over the last decade, the North West Cooperative Association (NWCA) has emerged as a leader in sustainable agriculture, implementing numerous projects that have significantly impacted the lives of over 35,000 smallholder farmers in the region. Under the dynamic leadership of the General Manager Waindim Timothy Ntam, NWCA has focused on diversification, technological advancements, and community support to drive growth and sustainability.

Driving diversification and innovation

NWCA Ltd Coffee processing factory

With the fluctuating tonnage of coffee deliveries in the last ten years, NWCA has strategically diversified its operations to include other agricultural projects. The Banana Plantain Project, which has already identified the financial institutions through which NWCA operates, is a promising venture. Accounts have been opened for six unions, and the project is expected to contribute significantly to the association's revenue stream. The acquisition of modern coffee transformation machinery and the installation of a drip coffee machine have revolutionized NWCA’s coffee processing capabilities. 

“These advancements have allowed us to produce Kola Coffee in huge quantities, meeting the growing demand for this high-quality product,” the General Manager noted. 

The introduction of Kola Coffee in various sizes and a new affordable brand in sachets has expanded NWCA’s market reach, making it a household name across Cameroon.

Empowering farmers through training and resources

NWCA has invested heavily in training and resource provision for its members. Through projects like GP – DERUDEP II, over 2,000 coffee and cocoa farmers have received training, and 300,000 coffee seedlings have been distributed. These initiatives have enhanced farmers' skills and productivity, contributing to the overall growth of the association.

The revolving fund provided by GP – IRDP has been a game-changer for NWCA. It has reduced the association's reliance on high-interest commercial loans, lowered processing and marketing costs, and increased farmers' earnings through timely payments and produce balances. 

According to Waindim Timothy “The loyalty of our farmers to their cooperatives has increased significantly with the availability of funds and timely payments,” 

Community-centric approach

NWCA’s commitment to corporate social responsibility is evident in its initiatives to support the community. The association has provided potable drinking water to the community around its head office and offered temporary jobs to over 200 internally displaced persons (IDPs). These efforts have improved the living standards of the community and reinforced NWCA’s role as a socially responsible organization. 

The sinking of a borehole at NWCA’s head office has ensured a reliable water supply system, improving hygiene and sanitation in the area. These projects underscore NWCA’s dedication to not only improving agricultural practices but also enhancing the overall well-being of the community it serves.

Global Partnerships and Recognition

NWCA’s achievements have not gone unnoticed on the international stage. The association’s membership in organizations like the International Cooperative Alliance, International Cooperative Agricultural Organization, African Fine Coffee Association, and Consumer Cooperative Worldwide has provided numerous opportunities for capacity building and global recognition. 

The recent win of the ICAO 10,000 Euros Regional Project highlights NWCA’s growing influence and commitment to excellence. Locally, NWCA Ltd has has received several awards in recognition of the work done so far. 

Foreign buyers, including Waltar Mattar in Switzerland, VIATRE Co in South Korea, and INTAFRI Coffee LLC in Japan, have recognized the quality of NWCA’s coffee, resulting in increased sales and competitive prices. 

“These partnerships have been crucial in sustaining our growth and ensuring fair prices for our farmers,” Ntam said 

Waindim Timothy Ntam, General Manager NWCA Ltd during an award winning ceremony 

The association has equally received several awards and recognitions for the work done to improve coffee transformation in the country.

NWCA Ltd President, Ndikwa Peter Bayo 

During a workshop on Saturday 29 June 2024, NWCA Ltd President Ndikwa Peter Bayo and the General Manager Waindim Timothy Ntam expressed concerns about declining coffee production. 

"This workshop is crucial for reviewing our activities and identifying ways to improve coffee collection and farmer livelihoods," Bayo said. 

Waindim Timothy urged participants to focus on creating a blueprint for the Board, emphasizing, "We must address this alarming decline in production with actionable solutions."

It is NWCA Ltd's wish to remain top on the coffee and cocoa production across the country and beyond.

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