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Trees for the Future Cameroon Program

11 June 2014

EIBiNS Trainees Learn Agro-forestry At IRAD

Posted in Blog, Trees for the Future Cameroon Program, Views 2318

One of agroforestry nurseries visited at IRAD.

Trainees from the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies (EIBiNS) have picked some knowledge about agroforestry systems and different agroforestry tree species at the Institute of Research and Agricultural Development (IRAD) Ekona, Southwest Region. Course Delegate, Ms Neba Grace led the trainees recently.

Expert in agroforestry, Samalang Patrick took the team to observe some agroforestry trees and systems. The first was the use of ornamental palms and trees in lawns and in life fencing around the Institute. Some tree species observed were Leucaena leucophela, Gliricidia sepium, Kajianus Kajan, Senna, Calliandra calothyrsus and many other ornamentals.

In addition to these, the trainees observed a variety of livestock farming including; Snail farming, Rabbits and Cane rats.

The team equally visited a tree nursery where they examined some propagation practices such as Macotting, Budding, and Grafting and later observed a series of agro-forestry systems notably alley cropping farming system and life fencing.

Dr Samalang Patrick lectured the students on the various agro-ecological zones of the South West Region relating them to existing Zonage system in Cameroon. The trainees asked questions after the lectures and their trainer responded to all the questions leaving them satisfied.

Trainees expressed satisfaction after the training and confessed it was an interesting expedition and wish many more sessions could be organized. "The integration of such practical field work and theory I learnt in school has helped me gain more knowledge on agroforestry. This is the true meaning of professionalism" Ms Neba Grace, one of the trainees said.

Some trainees however complained that the exercise was a bit strenuous given that they found it hard to differentiate the different agro-forestry species. To this effect, they suggested that a museum be created in the EIBiNS campus where students can visit regularly to remind themselves of these plants and their unique characteristics.

Dr Samalang Patrick who is also a Lecturer at EIBiNS promised the trainees that many of such field exercises would be organized to keep agro-forestry trainees on track.

EIBiNS makes practical studies relevant for its students by providing forum for its trainees to exploit more on field observations than theoretical doctrines delivered in class. Through such expeditions, the Institute aims to encourage its trainees to take up challenges and become more professional.

It is worthy to note that the agroforestry program at the institute enjoys some technical support from the Cameroon Program of US Charity Trees for the Future and also has a partnership with the Virginia-tech University.

 

By Marius Mbimenyuy

EIBiNS Environmental Journalism Intern

11 June 2014

Farmers Adopt Reforestation to Fight Cattle Rearers

Posted in Trees for the Future Cameroon Program, Views 1526

DSCN3320Farmers in the Menoua Division, Western Region of Cameroon have discovered a new way to fight the age long problem of cattle rearers through the planting of agroforestry species in the life fencing technology introduced to them by the Cameroon Program of US Charity Trees for the Future.

A farmer in Batsenjla Village in Menoua Division, Sonkeng Albert having suffered the problem of cattle always invading his farm for over a decade was forced to abandon his 3-hectare land on a hilltop for fear of planting his crops which will later be destroyed by cattle. He shares the same story with his neighbours who have all abandoned vast lands for fear of cattle destruction. However a glimmer of hope came when he encountered one of Trees for the Future's Technicians for the West Njeukeng Phillipe. In explaining the problem to this technician, the Technician told him "I have the solution to your problem". Wondering what the solution could be, Njeukeng told him that he could start by planting some agroforestry species such as Acacia, Leucaenia and Caliandra to fence the 3-hectare piece of land. Subsequently when these trees grow up, Njeukeng explained, they would help to block the cattle from entering the farm given the trees are planted tightly-30cmx30cm. In excitement, the farmer who had lost all hopes leaped with joy in his words "I am really happy to have gotten this wonderful advice from the Trees for the Future Technician"

 

Farmer planting trees on hill top

 

IMG 1703Sticking to the Technician's advice, Mr. Sonkeng Alber has now planted over 6000 trees species in his formerly abandoned farm and he intends to fence the entire land with trees. He hopes to start cultivating different crops including maize, beans and potatoes in his farm in order to feed his family and generate some income. "I have a very large family and farming is my only source of subsistence. I was already losing hope given that I had to abandon my land for fear of destruction from cattle. With this initiative I can say I have my livelihood back"

The news of Sonkeng's success story soon went viral and farmers who had abandoned their land are now interested to plant trees as life fence. Another Farmer in Mbile Village, Alex still in the Western Region has adopted the same approach and has now planted over 4000 species of trees around his land. It is worthy to note that after surrounding their land with trees, the Farmers will also move to the alley cropping technology where trees are planted alongside food crops for soil health improvement. The Farmers have thanked the US Charity for such a lofty idea in making their lives better through tree planting.

By Payong Marquise

11 June 2014

Trees for the Future Establishes 5000 capacity Moringa plantations in SW Cameroon

Posted in Trees for the Future Cameroon Program, Views 1677

Peace Corps Volunteer sowing Moringa seeds at Maumu

US Charity Trees for the Future has through its Cameroon Program set up three plantations comprising of 5000 capacity Moringa Oleifera plant at the Mile 14-Dibamba, Maumu and Ekambeng communities in the South West Region of Cameroon. At Mile 14, a 1000 capacity plantation was set up under the care of the Field Extension agent for Fako, Ayuk Rudolf and in Maumu a 2000 capacity plantation will be catered for by Ambang Augustine, one of the poineer farmers of the TREES Cameroon Program. In Ekambeng, Kupe Muanenguba Division, the 2000 capacity plantation will be the property of the Kupe Muanenguba Agroforestry Farmer's Network and will be cared for by the President of the network, Enongene Thomas.

The decision of Trees for the Future to set up these plantations this year stemmed from the fact that in 2013, the Cameroon Program distributed seeds of the Moringa oleifera to all its farmers and nine months after, a lot of farmers began testifying the benefits of the plant to their health. The farmers even nick-named the species 'magic stick,' given that the species helped cure almost all ailments suffered by farmers. This prompted some research work on the medicinal properties of the species by the senior team at Trees for The Future Cameroon who noted that the species was very rich in nutrients and so it helped to boost the immune systems of its consumers and thus help them to fight infections.

At the beginning of 2014, the demand for Moringa seeds of from TREES farmers was so high. Akama Sona a farmer based in Ikiliwindi, Meme Division, South West Region asked for 10kg of Moringa seeds. 'I want to send the seeds to all my relatives in Cameroon and beyond. Moringa tea and powder have significantly reduced the money that I spend on drugs'. He recounted. 'Moringa also has a good market especially in Yaounde. In Yaounde a 2g pack of Moringa powder sells at 500FCFA($1) and a 30cm long seedling is sold at 1000FCFA($2)' He continued.

It should be noted that these new plantations set up will also serve as a source of income to the farmers as they are expected to work in close collaboration with the Agribusiness Peace Corps Volunteer, Ms. Laureen Jessup to come up with business plans for the marketing of Moringa products. Whereas TREES Cameroon will have the seeds to distribute to their farmers, the farmers taking care of the plantations will have good nutrient supplements for their families and will be able to sell the leaves as Moringa tea, Moringa powder etc. Moringa oleifera might turn out to really be a 'magic plant' after all.

Limbi Blessing TATA

08 April 2014

Kupe Muanenguba Gets Network of Agroforestry Farmers

Posted in Trees for the Future Cameroon Program, Views 1596

Bangem town in Bangem Sub-division of Kupe Muanenguba Division hosted the meeting that brought together four farmers CIGs namely; Ekambeng Young Farmers , Ndap Asale Young Farmers of Mboku, Struggling Hands of Bangem town and the Young Farmers of Ekaku. The meeting started with sensitization on the responsibilities of a network by the Trees for the Future Cameroon Representative, Ms Blessing Limbi. This was immediately followed by an election that saw Enongene Thomas emerging as President, Ewane Roland as Vice President, Elimpe Enongene as Secretary General, Asale as Treasurer and Kang Primose and Claude Asale as Advisers. The newly elected Exco was then installed by Ms Blessing Tata. The election was followed by the handing over of didactic material to enable the network operate smoothly.

Speaking after the election, the newly elected President, Enongene Thomas said that he and his team will do all within their power to ensure the smooth running of the network. He also pointed out that the network will also delegate people to go round and evaluate all agroforestry activities in the Division. He also promised that the network will take charge of recruiting new groups that will join Trees for the Future Cameroon Program and this will be done based on seriousness and willingness to plant trees. Hear him "This is a good thing that has come to us and we will not let any unserious group spoil it for us. Unity, they say is strength so coming together in a network will definitely make us stronger'' he said.

By L. B. Tata

08 April 2014

Trees for the Future Cameroon Welcomes New Peace Corps Volunteer

Posted in Trees for the Future Cameroon Program, Views 1687

Screen shot 2014-04-09 at 5.20.44 AMThe Cameroon Program of US Charity Trees for the Future has welcome on board a US Peace Corps to support in her mission of improving livelihoods of local farmers and restoring degraded land through agroforestry and reforestation. Ms Lauren Jessup, joined Trees for the Future Cameroon in March 2014. The 23 year old who hails from Indiana, USA, holds a B.Sc in Science Business and has undergone intensive training in agroforestry techniques with the Peace Corp in US prior to her coming to Cameroon.

Speaking about her new environment, Lauren Jessup said she has always wanted to go somewhere in West or Central Africa to work with people and learn different cultures "I have looked forward to working with people and learning different aspects of their culture while introducing them to new and different ways of doing things" She said.

Before coming to TREES Cameroon, Lauren worked as a Volunteer on Agroforestry and Water Quality with an NGO, VOGOSPAD in Bandjoun, West Region of Cameroon since her arrival in Cameroon in September 2013.

Lauren will work with TREES Cameroon for the next 18 months and during her stay with them, she will be working with the agroforestry program in the Fako Division. She will work with the team to strengthen the Agroforesty networks in Fako Division and establish tree nurseries in communities.

Reacting to the seven months already spent in Cameroon, Lauren said "It has been a wonderful period in my life. People in Cameroon are so hospitable and I always feel at home with them" She hopes to be a valuable member of the team and also work closely with staff of TREES Cameroon partner, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) "I am ready to share my ideas with workers of TREES Cameroon and ERuDeF. I hope my 18 month stay with these organizations will help in one way or the other in advancing the goals of the organizations and thus preservation of nature" Lauren added.

By Regina Leke

08 April 2014

3.5 million Leguminous Tree Seeds for Cameroon’s Farmers’ Fields

Posted in Trees for the Future Cameroon Program, Views 1590

farmers establish bare stem nurseryFarmers across the Cameroon mountains spanning the Northwest, Southwest, Littoral and West Regions of Cameroon have received over 3.5million leguminous trees seeds including Acacia, leucaena, calandra plus fruiting trees and medicinal trees to continuously improve the quality of their soil, improve yields and diversify income. The seeds were donated by the Cameroon Program of US Charity Trees for the Future. Trees for the Future Cameroon also known as TREES Cameroon team set out to the field early 2014 to start the activities of the year with the farmers. Some of the main activities included sensitization on tree planting especially to new group of farmers, workshops on bare stem nursery establishment and the setting up of demonstration sites, reinforcing and supporting networks with didactic materials.

 

 

 

TREES Cameroon Regional Coordinator donates didactic material and seeds to farmers Over 200 farmers were reached and were sensitized on the importance of agroforestry. 15 divisions around South West, West, Littoral and North West Regions were covered with over 35 demonstration nurseries put in place and about 500.000 trees of Acacia, Leucaena and Caliandra treated and nursed in the demonstration nurseries. In all, over 3.5 million seeds of the different species were distributed to farmers to establish their groups or individual nurseries with support from the field based technicians.

Trees for the Future's Regional Coordinators presided at the sensitization meetings and this time, the team threw more light on the new approach; the Forest Garden Approach. Though not a totally new approach given that some farmers have already been practicing it, the team trained farmers to integrate NTFPs and fruit trees into their farms, not leaving out the fast growing leguminous trees in a more organized way. The farmers were very happy with the approach since other economically beneficial trees will be involved including fruiting trees like pear, plum and pineapple and medicinal trees such as Prunus africana and Moringa. They were overwhelmed and can't just wait for the implementation proper. Nitcheu Jean Baptiste said he is very happy because these economically beneficial trees will help improve his income. Jeukeng Joseph said given that he has been practicing agroforestry for over six years, he will use his expertise to make a perfect forest garden and also teach new farmers. While the farmers wait to be provided with the economically beneficial trees, they continue to plant the fast growing leguminous trees to continue improving on their soil fertility. However, they have already been given some medicinal species of trees like Prunus africana and Neem.

By Payong Marquise

08 April 2014

Trees for the Future Holds Press Conference to disclose 2014 Plan of Action

Posted in Trees for the Future Cameroon Program, Views 1638

Trees for the Future Country Director and Assistant talk to the press.

The Cameroon Program of US Charity, Trees for the Future has held a press conference to disclose its route map for 2014. The press conference took place on March 28, 2014 in Buea. In a presentation, the Country Assistant, Neba Kingsly took the press down memory lane on how the program started in 2007 and how it has succeeded in planting over 6 million trees in farmer's field and degraded lands in the Western Cameroon Highlands. He explained that in 2013 alone, Trees for the Future, Cameroon Program also known as TREES Cameroon planted about 2million trees. Kingsly Neba explained that the program is focused in four main geographical areas notably the Bamenda Highlands, the Mt, Bamboutos ecosystem, the Muanenguba mountains and the Mt Cameroon ecosystem.

Corroborating this, the Country Director, Louis Nkembi told the press that the Program anticipates to plant over 3 million trees throughout the four geographical watersheds and beyond. He added that, introducing the Forest Garden Model would help improve the economic efficiency of the farm and quadruple incomes of household. "The model is a four year model that would involve the training of over 2000 farmers, working in over 70 communities. This by the fourth year would increase incomes of farmers thereby improving on their livelihood". Louis Nkembi said. He continued by saying farmers would be able to increase and sustain food security as well as income generating opportunity in an environmentally sound manner. Louis said this model would diversify crops both for better food availability, farm product marketability and adaptation of improved land management techniques.

In order to meet up with this new model, TREES Cameroon anticipates to create 7 central nurseries of a capacity of 20000 seedlings which would serve as production center for improved planting stocks that would be distributed to farmers. The already existing agroforestry farms would be transitioned into Forest Garden by adding more economic species. And at the same time continue to plant our regular agroforestry species.

The Press were also informed that by the end of 2014, TREES Cameroon would leave those communities that have become self sufficient and move to other communities.

By Payong Marquise