Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit Organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), in collaboration with Rainforest Trust, has rounded off surveys of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in some communities within the Lebelialem Highlands Conservation Complex. These communities include Njungo, Mbetta, Essoh-etta, Lewoh, Bangang, Besali, Bechati and Kendem.
The survey which seeks to identify and valorise NTFPs in this complex, is in line with ERuDeF’s strive to conserve biodiversity by promoting economic exploitation of NTFPs by rural women.
According to the survey, NTFPs like njangsang, bush mango, bush pepper, bush onions, bitter kola, red kola, eru, cashew, monkey Kola and others, are abundant in the Lebialem Highlands.
With survey results now established, ERuDeF will heighten sensitization and awareness campaigns in adjacent communities to biodiversity hotspots in this area as well as intensify the training of women in the harvesting and on domestication of NTFPs.
These communities will also be schooled on NTFPs value chain development and marketing among others.
The valorisation of NTFPs in this area is very important as many women and a few men are increasingly diverting their attention to the exploitation of these products, alongside other cash crops like cassava and plantains.
Involving women in the domestication and production of NTFPs as income generating activity will not only increase their revenue; but will improve on their livelihoods and the sustainable forest management and appropriate use of forest products.
By Ayankeng Atem