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27 July 2016

Southwest Farmers See Gains in Agricultural Value Chain

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Southwest Farmers See Gains in Agricultural Value Chain

Some farmers of Meme, Fako and Kupe Muanenguba Divisions of the Southwest Region have said modern agricultural value chains, introduced to them early this year by Trees Cameroon is better than traditional agriculture.

They testified recently during a routine monitoring and sensitization campaign to their various farming groups by the Southwest Trees Cameroon Programme Coordinator Ngome Ebang

According to one of the farmers representing a farming group in Kupe Muanenguba, Sumelong Mathias, adopting the system of modern agricultural value chains has greatly improved his economic situation.

“It is a source of employment to many offering better pay and working conditions than our traditional agriculture system” he added.

Another farmer at Mile 14, Fako Division, Mr. Ayuk Rudolf, said the value chain will make a great meaning in their agricultural production.

“With my cassava production, I can produce ‘garri’, ‘water fufu’, and starch for good texture of clothes, rather than just selling the cassava tuber” Mr. Ayuk said.

In Meme division, a seasoned farmer in Ngolobolo village, Etoka Vincent, has also adopted the value chain to cocoa production.

“I use cocoa grains to produce cocoa oil, which is more valuable than just the cocoa beans. I also produce local chocolate for my family, hence, cutting cost for purchasing beverages.” Mr. Etoka said.

This farmer has also begun benefiting from the farm optimization model of Trees Cameroon.

“I planted more than 2000 seedlings of Leucaena and Acacia in my cocoa farm early this year following the training we received from Trees Cameroon on farm optimisation. The changes are so glaring that by 2018, my cocoa yield would have increased over 3 times the present production.”

The monitoring and sensitization meeting according to Project Coordinator, Mr. Ngome Ebang, was aimed at assessing what farmers have been doing since the start of the year and enlightening them on alternative farming techniques which are economically sustainable and respect environmental norms.

“Farmers produce a lot but much of their products are enjoyed by a second party. Introducing this new approach, these farmers will benefit more through the different values added to the chain of their produce,” Mr. Ngome said. He added that this system will also go a long way to fight against climate change.

The farmers were also drilled on the farm optimization model, where they can arrange their farms based on the crops that are of high economic value. They also learned how to transplant agroforestry trees using the alley croping and the life fencing methods.

By Emmanuel Ebang