[one_third][/one_third]Farmers in Bangem, Kupe Muanegumba Division-Southwest Cameroon have begun witnessing high yields in their farms thanks to the bio-farming technology introduced in this area some nine years ago by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF).
Speaking to the ERuDeF agroforestry team recently, the farmers said the new farming method have improved their output greatly and they do not have to abandon their farms to fallow for three to four years as was the case before.
“We have witnessed huge changes in our farm produce and finances too thanks to bio- farming. Previously, my harvest used to be very poor because before planting, I used to burn my farm. After cultivation, I would wait for up to four years for the piece of land to fallow” Pa Mewsie John, a seasoned farmer explained.
The bio-farming has equally helped the farmers to practice intensive agriculture reducing pressure on the forest.
“If I used to harvest 10 bunches of plantains, today, I can harvest not less than 18 bunches on the same piece of land. I am also very happy as I no longer have to go around destroying the forest looking for new farm spaces because the old one is in a period of fallowing. We are grateful to ERuDeF for showing us this light” the Bangem farmer quipped.
The testimony of the farmers according to the South West Coordinator of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development of ERuDeF, Mr. Emmanuel Ngome, is a dream-come-true for the organization.
“It is our desire to see farmers adopt modern techniques like crop rotation, green manure and biological pest control. This promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activities that restore enhance and maintain ecological harmony. This boosts soil fertility and increases farm yields hence bettering the lives of many farmers” Mr. Ngome said.
The bio-farming technology was introduced in 2007, after a survey by ERuDeF indicated that most farmers in this part of Cameroon were practising slash and burn and shifting cultivation, which is not only environmentally disastrous, but also unproductive. With such method, farmers experienced low farm yields which compelled them to live from hand to mouth.
The bio-farming method is natural and ensures high quality and safer agricultural yields that are not harmful to man, the ecosystem and or any other organisms. The introduction of bio-farming by ERuDeF is thanks to funding from Trees for the Future, USA.
By Mr. Emmanuel Ngome