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05 September 2013

Farmer uses agroforestry to make the difference

Posted in News, Views 1268

Njeukeng Phillipe(left) Inspecting his plantain farm

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Since the US Charity, Trees for the Future through its Cameroon Program, introduced agroforestry in Cameroon, farmers have increasingly adopted different strategies of diversifying the products gotten from their farm. Initially, the primary aim of intercropping trees and plants was to improve on the quality of the soil and yields. Interestingly enough, these days, farmers have moved from just using agroforestry technology to improve on their yield to diversifying the trees. One of such farmers is Njuekeng Phillipe of Bafou, a village in Menoua Division of the West Region.

Since he adopted agroforestry technology, he has planted over 20000 trees of Acacia and Leucaena for soil fertility improvement and live fencing. He exploited these trees for multipurpose uses; soil health improvement, pegs for beans and as fuel wood.

In 2013, his ideas shifted to developing a woodlot for economic benefit thereby improving on his livelihood. He intends to cover a 3-hectare land on a hill called Kemzok in Bafou with tree species like Prunus, avocado, and concentrate more on Acacia and Leucaena species. According to this Farmer, these 2 agroforestry species are fast growing and would make better fuel wood. He said it is a waste to continue to leave this hill without exploitation when there are trees to reforest the area and at the same time make a lot of money.

Mr. Njeukeng is starting this year with 4000 trees of Acacia and Leucaena. He would start benefitting from the wood after 2 years of initiation. Following his investigation, fuel wood and charcoal have become very expensive and scarce. When these trees become mature, he is going to sell wood worth over 200.000 frs ($400) a year. He also mentions, that wood of Acacia and Leucaena gives a very good flame with less smoke thereby fighting the effect of global warming. Sales of the wood is going to increase years after years since planting is going to continue as the area will be expanded. It is obvious that this man's live will change thereby affecting the live of his entire family for the better future. Being the agroforestry technician in Menoua Division, he intends to share his experience with many other famers and improving on their lives too.

By Payong Tionou Marquise