My name is Nicolas B., I am a farmer residing in the southern region of Cameroon. I am married and a father of four children. After my country declared its first patient with COVID-19, March 6, 2020, the authorities closed land, maritime, and air borders. At the time I thought the pandemic would be only a passenger and as I was a producer of tomatoes I engaged in seedlings; I did not change my plans.
As a large tomato producer, I sold my tomatoes in the countries of the central African sub-region because in my country the competition was too high. The pandemic has made it difficult to trade with the countries of the subregion. Gabon and Equatorial Guinea who were my great customers had slowed considerably. With this closure of the borders, my tomatoes could not go out of Cameroon.
I had to sell my tomatoes to Cameroon. All other producers also sold to Cameroon and that was really difficult for me because the competition was too high. The price of tomatoes fell by 50% all because of COVID-19. What a horror! I could not stand it. I still had to continue relentlessly despite the considerable fall in prices. Even when prices dropped, my tomatoes could rot in the field.
As soon as the disease rate fell in the country the government reopened the borders and I had to continue my traffic with ease. Although this pandemic spoiled my economy, thanks to my dedication, I left with bravery and I hope that with time my business will fully recover.