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29 November 2016

West And Northwest Cameroon Farmers Rewarded For Best Agricultural Practices

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West And Northwest Cameroon Farmers Rewarded For Best Agricultural Practices

Some 70 farmers in the West and North West Regions of Cameroon have been awarded prizes comprising machetes and spray pumps for their extraordinary performance in the implementation of modern agricultural techniques, the Agroforestry farming systems. While the first five laureates from each region were given sprays and/or machetes, 60 others received one machete each.

The prizes including over 135 machetes and 11 spray pumps were offered to the farmers during the 2016 Agroforestry Open Day jointly organized by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and Trees for the Future-USA in Balafotio, November 14, 2016, and Kugwe, November 17, 2016, in the West and North West Regions of Cameroon respectively. It brought together farmers from the West and North West Regions, traditional authorities and government officials, ERuDeF’s President/CEO and his agroforestry team, and international Volunteer.

Organized under the theme ‘’Transforming agriculture to sustain the world of tomorrow’’outstanding farmers, practicing agroforestry systems in the West and North West Regions were during the Open Day celebrations identified and offered farming equipment.

One of the beneficiaries in the West Region, Mr. Pierre Douanla, a Balafotio based farmer, who had applied the alley cropping and life fencing in his farm, received a spray pump and 10 machetes.

He expressed gratitude to ERuDeF and partner for “adding power to his elbow” promising to use the farming tools to boost productivity.

“I am very satisfied to have benefitted from the spray and machetes. These items will facilitate my work and the time I used to go about begging for sprays will be diverted to useful activities” Mr. Douanla said.

He promised to share his equipment with other farmers of his group.

“I will use these equipment with my fellow farmers so that together we can facilitate the production of food crops and better up our lives” he added.

Just like their counterparts in the West Region, farmers in Northwest Cameroon greeted the prizes with lots of joy and boisterity pledging to encourage more farmers to adopt the farming system.

“I would do my best to see that more farmers get involved in this programme. I will go around and sensitise my fellow farmers especially women to follow my example so that they too can benefit from this modern system of farming which is yielding unimaginable results” Mrs. Ayong Jeannette pledged.

The success stories of these beneficiaries thrilled all present and farmers, who have hitherto being hesitant as they expressed their willingness to incorporate the agroforestry system of farming into their farms during the next farming season.

“I now have a better idea about this new technique and the advantages therein. I have been wondering why some of these farmers havebetter farm yields than myself. Be rest assured, I am the next person to join this programme and would personally sensitise my people to join too” his royal highness, Douanla Jean Paul, chief of Balafotio, promised.

Another farmer in the same area Mr. Bruno Ngongang, says he will also adopt the farming system because it is cost effective.

“For some years now, I have been spending a lot on fertilizers and the situation has not really change but from the testimonies today, I have seen that with these trees (agroforestry trees) in my farms, my soil fertility problem is solved at no cost. I think many of us farmers are going to join this programme” he pledged.

In the Northwest, the farmers expressed the same zeal to join the programme.

“I have been facing serious problems in my farm because of soil infertility and my pigs too are not doing well. Today I have been told that just with acacia tree species in my farm, my soil will change and the fresh leaves can be used to feed my pigs because of their high protein content. I wish to be part of the programme so that I can also benefit from its advantages”, a Kugwe based farmer, Mrs. Ebu Beatrice stated.

In the meantime, Technicians present during the ceremony were also awarded prizes for their hard work. While four technicians in the West were promised a spray each, their counterparts in the North West were promised five machetes each. This move was in appreciation of their efforts in coordinating farmers and to motivate them (technicians) to be more committed.

The President/CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi at the end of the Open Day/prize award, congratulated the laureates encouraging them to continuously increase their commitment in fighting against food insecurity.

The celebration of the agroforestry open door day is in line with ERuDeF’s efforts to promote modern agricultural techniques with the goal of improving soil fertility, promoting farm optimization and value added chain development. The programme is supported by Trees for the Future, USA.

By Payong Marquise