“We the Lewoh people are very happy about this Mondia Project and will like this project to continue. Mr. Mane is a very kind and good man and we are pledging our full support and collaboration to ensure the success of this project because the more his company progresses in this project, the more we, our council and country will also progress” said Fuafueleka the chief of Atetem.
This commitment was made at the end of the Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) Negotiation for Research and Development workshop, which took place last April 5, 2016 in Lewoh village under the auspices of the representative of the Minister of Environment Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), Mr. Lemnyuy William, who is also the ABS National Focal Point.
Bringing together local community members & traditional authorities, the Southwest Regional Delegate of MINEPDED, Mayor of Alou Subdivision, the Executive Director of V. Mane Fils ,who is also the president of Mane Foundation, the President CEO of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) amongst others, Mr. Shey said the workshop is in consonance with the adhesion of Cameroon to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and theBenefits Sharing arising from the utilization of genetic resources.
The President of the Mane Foundation on his part, thanked the community for their hospitality and collaboration this far. He also thanked ERuDeF for diligently ensuring the sustainable management and implementation of projects on behalf of the Foundation.
The President of Mane Foundation said the project will bring additional revenue to the community via root purchase, improve livelihood, social and environmental aspects of the community.
Discussions and negotiations were made with the Lewoh community on different aspects of the MAT for Research and Development document. Principal amongst these was the fact that the community members will cultivate and sell 1kg of dry Mondia Whitei roots at 5000frs.
In order to ensure the sustainable exploitation and regeneration of the plant, Michel Mane promised an additional 50frs payment to the local community per Mondia plant planted and another 50frs for each Mondia young Plant growth up to a certain level.
“We did not know that this plant could be of any benefit to us. The price has encouraged many of us and we will go home today and start planting tomorrow especially giving that this is a rainy season. Mr Mane has made us to understand that every plant growing in the bush is of value and should not be neglected” said Amingo Walters, a Lewoh Indigene.
One of the Queens of Lewoh Madam Cecilia Nkengafac Atabong corroborated this: “I just need to lay hands on the seeds and you will see what I will do, I will cultivate on large scale and even recruit labour for its cultivation that I can gain something to take care of my children”.
Chief Fuatulah, Representing the Fon of Lewoh see the project as a lucrative source of livelihood to his people.
“This project will reduce Rural Exodus. Cocoa is the only crop sustaining the people of this community and harvested once a year. But with this plant, within the cocoa harvesting, my community will still have something to sustain themselves. It is not difficult to cultivate and is less expensive compared to Cocoa. After planting, up to 3 meters, that is all. You don’t need to spray or spend money on fertilizers. I have told my people to concentrate on this because I belief it will better their life” the cheif of Fuatulah said.
He thanked Louis Nkembi and ERuDeF liaising with Mr Mane to give meaning to the Mondia in his community wishing him and the organization God’s blessing in all their endeavours.
The Lewoh people said they are eagerly waiting ERuDeF and Mr Mane to give them Mondia seeds and training on the cultivation of the plant.
Meanwhile the ABS Focal Point cautioned the Lewoh people to report any case of a clandestine collection of plants specimen in their community to MINEPDED.