Farmers 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.
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