The training that took place from April 2 to 14 2018, was facilitated by the Southwest Agroforestry Coordinator at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Adeline Tengem. It was during an inspection tour to the respective divisions.
The trip sought to build the capacities of farmers on agro-forestry techniques and motivate them with seeds of agro-forestry, medicinal, timber trees and some species of vegetables.
The training took place in the presence of all farming groups progressively from one division to the other for all the divisions. At the training ground were the agro-forestry field-based technicians of 3 respective agro-forestry networks; Ayuk Rodulf for Fako, Makia Henry for Meme and Ajang Thomas for Kupe Muanenguba networks.
Farmers who gained the knowledge expressed gratitude to ERuDeF and partners for the great technical and material support they have been giving them.
“We are short of words to express our joy for this kind of support from ERuDeF. We will not only receive but will also learn how to give to others. We need to sit up this time more than ever before because if we concentrate on this project, we will not only feed ourselves but the whole world,” explained Christiana Tannyi, lead farmer of mile 14 group in the Fako network. Her prayer was to see all her group members collaborate so all the seeds could be nursed, planted and maintained for others to also benefit from them.
During the training sessions, more emphasis was also laid on forest garden as an aspect of agro-forestry. Forest garden development with focus on description, composition, crop, yield and production, food nutrition and institutional framework caught another serious attention of farmers, especially new groups who have never heard of this before. These groups of farmers were particularly interested in the practice of forest garden to fulfil their nutrition needs especially during the lean season.
“The period from May to July is characterised by little or no food, and hardship in the communities because it is the period between harvests. During this period, almost everything is harvested and eaten and while waiting for another harvest in July, we typically depend on different types of coping strategies to meet our food needs for the period. So, if this system can help us to fill this livelihood gap, then we cannot welcome it with doubts,” said Asale Theckla, member of NYAFA group in the Kupe Muanenguba network.
The field based technicians of Meme agroforestry network encouraged all groups of farmers under his supervision to render maximum collaboration and sincerity with ERuDeF for there is a lot the Meme network has been missing.
“I have attended ERuDeF’s agro-forestry open days and seen it with my own eyes what ERuDeF does with committed farmers. It takes just our commitment and hard work to attract the kind of motivation I saw in Meka in the West region last year,” explained Makia to his farming groups, urging them to strive towards being best farming groups of the year.
On her own part, the Coordinator, Tengem, recalled to farmers the role of ERuDeF and partners in the project.
“ERuDeF is equipped with experts and are all at your disposal. The organisation is ready to provide to you all the necessary know how and material support you need to overcome hunger and poverty both for the present and future generations,” she reminded.
Agro-forestry is a project of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and the US based Trees for the Future partner. It is aimed at addressing the urgent food insecurity problems in Cameroon. It works with farmers and field-based technicians all over 4 regions of Cameroon.
By Adeline Tengem