[one_third][/one_third]A fruit tree value chain project has been initiated in the Lewoh Community in Lebialem Division, Southwest Cameroon.
This project, expected to add value to fruits produced in this part of the country, was initiated recently by Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF).
During the project initiation meeting which took place at Government Technical High School Lewoh, the President/CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, encouraged members of the Lewoh Women Cooperative Society (LeWoCoS) to nurse over 2000 to 3000 seedlings of fruit trees.
“The first stage of this project is to nurse the fruit trees. After the nursing, ERuDeF would provide the necessary expertise for their cultivation” Mr. Nkembi said.
The ERuDeF CEO however promised donating some 3 machines that will aid in the transformation of fruits cultivated in the area.
“Pear for example can be transformed to oil and the list goes on. A company or an institution would also be set up to market the products” he explained.
The project was greeted with lots of joy by members of the Lewoh Women Cooperative Society.
“This project would bring us some money and I am happy ERuDeF is improving on our livelihoods,” one of the women overtly expressed.
The Women Cooperative members gave their preferences of fruit trees to be cultivated for the project. They were Plum, Avocado, Orange and Apple fruit trees.
The value added chain project is expected to create more sources of employment as well as increase the income of the farmers when it fully goes operational.
The project initiation meeting was also used by the Lewoh Women Cooperative Society members as an avenue to express some problems plaguing the Cooperative. The problems include, but not limited to discriminatory management of donations, mismanagement of funds, unavailability of membership cards and intra conflicts in the Cooperative.
Reacting to these concerns, the President/CEO of ERuDeF encouraged members not to focus on their failures but use these failures to make positive progress. He assured them that membership cards would be made available in no distant time for all those who have duly registered. Mr. Nkembi called on those indebted to the Cooperative to promptly pay their debts so as to contribute towards ensuring the smooth functioning of the Cooperative.
By Quddus Njang