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This study investigated the relationship between rural investment and livelihood improvement in Nguti Sub Division. The survey research design was used following quantitative approach. A sample of 120 respondents comprising of elites, farmers, investors, contractors and agro-business men was drawn from the entire population of Nguti Sub Division. A semi-structured questionnaire was used in collecting the primary data which was analysed using frequencies and percentages in SPSS v.20. Hypothesis were tested using Chi-Square and Pearson Moment Coefficients of Correlation (R). The results of the findings revealed that the rural community of Nguti is aware of the necessity for rural investment and believe investment in their community can improve their livelihoods. The results further indicated that the Nguti community considers improvement in livelihood to include increase in family income, employment opportunities, no famine, good means of transport, better healthcare, improved living standards, better education and better means of subsistence. It was concluded that an improvement in rural investment will consequently improve the livelihood of the people of Nguti Sub Division in the South West Region of Cameroon. It was recommended that the government of Cameroon should encourage rural investment by directing new companies and businesses to locate in the rural area so as to provide employment for people in the rural area and improve on their livelihood.



1.1       Background of the Study

A large improvement in rural connectivity such as through technological infrastructure has contributed to increased mobility dynamics from, to and within the regions (Steel & Lindert, 2017, p. 10). Migration cannot be considered a unidirectional movement from rural areas to cities. It has instead been shaped by a chain of connections in which rural and urban livelihoods interact on a movement continuum (Agergaard, Tacoli, Steel, & Ørtenblad, 2019, p. 8). Temporary movement – whether daily, weekly or seasonally – characterises the main mobility pattern of rural households crisscrossing the region for social reasons as well as to search for employment, services, commercial goods and education. These temporary flows of people are complemented and linked with more permanent flows of mobility which makes the areas under study highly dynamic in terms of mobility inflows and outflows (Agergaard, 2016, p. 3).

According to Steel and Lindert (2017, p. 10), most households engage in mobility as part of livelihood survival or consolidation strategies. They use remittances to buy various goods including farming inputs such as fertiliser, as well as cooking utensils, food supplies, cloth, bicycles or small solar panels to power lights at night and to charge mobile phones. Only a minor few succeed in accumulating wealth as a result of international remittances. When migrants organise themselves through hometown or migrant associations, remittances have the potential to be used for local development projects in infrastructure and services, especially when lobbied for at the national government level as in the case of Cameroon (Tacoli & Steel, 2017, p.

Bamou and Masters (2007, p. 1) reported that prior to the economic crisis of the late 1980s, Cameroon’s development strategy efforts were managed through a series of five-year Development Plans. In these, agriculture was described as the priority sector and the government intervened massively in rural development, both directly through the establishment of state-owned agro-industries, rural corporations and settlements, and also indirectly through various support programs. Later reforms and the devaluation of 1994 improved performance through allowing more market incentives to play a role. In this chapter we use the methodology of Anderson et al. (2008, p. 23) to quantify the evolution of those distortions to farmer incentives, measuring the incidence of government policy on producers and consumers each year in Cameroon from 1961 to 2004.

The growth of Cameroon’s state-led agricultural interventions had been supported by donors for a variety of reasons. These agencies were to be run as quasi-private enterprises, with administrative, technical and financial autonomy and therefore potential efficiency (Bamou & Masters, 2007, p. 1). In addition, most of the projects aimed to combine marketable output with basic farmer needs, an idea that fitted very well within the basic-needs-approach to rural development widely adopted by donors and the international intellectual community during the early 1970s. But Cameroon’s attempt to create a modern agricultural sector through this kind of intervention proved to be very costly and had only a marginal impact on total agricultural output. The proliferation of new institutions and structures was particularly counter-productive. Agencies were supervised by different government ministries with little provision for the coordination of activities (Bamou and Masters 2007, p. 23). Lines of responsibility often overlapped, agencies worked at cross purposes, and leaders were occupied in power conflicts among themselves. The poor performance of the interventionist strategy led to donor retreat and helped to awaken government doubts about the approach (Bamou & Masters 2007, p. 16).

Livelihood perspectives start with how different people in different places live. A variety of definitions are offered in the literature, including, for example, ‘the means of gaining a living’ (Chambers, 1995, p. 8) or ‘a combination of the resources used and the activities undertaken in order to live’. According to Saturnino, (2010, p. 163), diversity is the watchword, and livelihoods approaches have challenged fundamentally single-sector approaches to solving complex rural development problems. Over the last decade or so ‘livelihoods’ has thus emerged as a boundary term (Gieryn, 1999, p. 159), something that brings disparate perspectives together, allows conversations over disciplinary and professional divides and provides an institutional bridging function linking people, professions and practices in new ways.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Livelihood of people in the rural areas in Cameroon remains deplorable despite the natural endowments and potential for growth. Nguti Subdivision being a rural community in the Kupe Muaneguba Division of the South West Region of Cameroon is naturally endowed with resources, human capital and potential for high standards of living yet the average livelihood in the community remains fairly below poverty level.

Evidently, large enterprises with huge investment capitals turn to localise mainly in the city centres while exploiting resources from the rural areas and leaving the rural community livelihood very deplorable. Nguti Subdivision in this case remains without agro-enterprises to invest in the community despite the huge agricultural potentials; they still in dire need for agricultural inputs while struggling with the provision of basic amenities like pipe-born water and electricity.

As a consequence of less investment in the community members have low standards of living, poor education, vulnerability to diseases and high dependence on a few family members who might be living above average income level. These challenges and a lot more have pushed the researcher to investigate on the rural investment and improving livelihood in Cameroon.

1.3       Research Questions

1.3.1    General Research Question

What is the relationship between rural investment and livelihood improvement in Nguti Sub Division?

1.3.2    Specific Research Questions

  1. What effect has rural agricultural investment on livelihood in Nguti Sub Division?
  2. What is the relationship between provision of social amenities and livelihood in Nguti Sub Division?
  • To what extent is livelihood improved by investing in infrastructure in Nguti Sub Division?
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