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04 February 2013

North West farmers use agric. diversification to boost incomes

Posted in Blog, Views 2570

north west farmers

Some farmers in the North West region of Cameroon have diversified agriculture in a bid to raise  their incomes. Farmers in the North West obtained micro-loans on a revolving basis which they used to invest income generating activities other than crop production.  This in turn made them to realize an increase in their incomes. A maize farmer from the Mezam Division, Mishimbo Joseph, who belongs to the farming group MACMAN in Mankon explained his success “I learnt about diversification in 2010 from the Trees for the Future team, I immediately embraced it and acquired a loan of FCFA50.000 and bought improved maize seeds and within months, I was able to make FCFA 100,000   from the sales of 200 kg of maize harvested from my agro-forestry farm” Mr. Mishimo further explained that he repaid his loan and used the extra income to invest in poultry and pig farming and conveniently feeds these livestock with leaves of Leucaena leucocephala, Acacia angustissima and other herbs, from the agro-forestry farms. With over 100 chickens and 12 pigs to his name, Mr. Mishimbo looks forward making brisk business from them this 2013.


Another group in Bafut, the AGROCOPLEX CIG used their loan to invest in the production of fruit trees using vegetative propagation methods. The loan acquired helped them to construct propagators from which these seedlings were produced. Seedlings produced using these techniques have an advantage over their counterparts produced from seeds in that, they produce fruits faster since they are of the same age as he parent plant from which they are produced from, and the fruits are of good quality since they are carefully selected. “In 2012, we produced over 100 seedlings (macotts and grafts). Selling a seedling at FCFA 2500, we anticipate raising FCFA 250,000 from the sales of these seedlings. In addition to this, we are already harvesting fruits from the trees they planted 3 years ago” a member explained.
As a result of better incomes from these economic activities, farmers confess they have been able to improve on their living conditions and their health status have been greatly improved given that they can conveniently pay their hospital bills and buy drugs.

 

Two farming groups, MACMAN CIG in Mankon and AGROCOMPLEX CIG Bafut have been very successful in the diversification process.

By Neba Kingsley