Situated in the south east part of the north province of Cameroon, the Sud-Est
Bénoué project started in 1978, and was conceived in a similar way
as the NEB-Project, which was run by a separate project organisation, the MEAVSB.
Here, however, the SODECOTON was the only implementing institution.
Financed by the French CCCE (Caisse Centrale de Coopération Economique,
the SODECOTON and the Cameroonian State, the project was engaged in the settlement
of migrants from the densely populated Far-North Province. In order to do so, it was necessary
to establish new
migrant villages (about 33 villages were created) with basic infrastructure. Cotton
cultivation with modern techniques (even with tractors) was strongly promoted among
the migrant farmers, but intensive cultivation of food crops was promoted as well.
Using mechanised field preparation, selected seeds, herbicides and fertilisers, and
applying crop rotation, high yields (2,500 kg/ha for maize) were achieved.
Total migration between 1984 and 1991 was according to the SODECOTON around 18,816
migrants (3,676 families). Some 3,700 returned to their region of origin or settled
in places near the Garoua-Ngaoundéré main road (in the region of Ngong). This
remigration is generally explained as caused by the peripheral location of many
settlement villages, and the problematic sale of foodstuffs (due to the absence of
urban markets, regular transport facilities). Net population growth is estimated as
being 17,000, taking into account the natural population growth.