[one_third][/one_third]Hunters, trappers and farmers in Folepi, Wabane Sub-division, Lebialem Division have received over 7,500 seedlings of non-forest and timbre products (NTFPs) such as eru, bitter cola, njijap, orange, bush mango, black and bush pepper. The beneficiaries promised not to abandon the seedlings after transplanting and to equally monitor and nurture them to maturity.
By Ntungwa Elong Bwang
This distribution of NTFP seedlings falls in line with ERuDeF’s mission of reducing pressure on the forest which began in August 2015 and targets over 100 farmers and hunters in Folepi, one of the 11 villages that make up the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.
According to Nchong Collins, the nursery assistant coordinating the distribution process, the beneficiary farmers who must be of inhabitants of Folepi are required to provide their names, contacts and number of seedlings collected to ERuDeF’s agroforestry technicians who will evaluate the process to ensure the success and growth of the transplanted seedlings.
Created in 2014 by ERuDeF, the Folepi NTFPs nursery currently has a capacity of 7,500 seedlings. The nursery was created with the main objective of contributing to the improvement of the economic condition of the local population. It will develop in a sustainable way NTFPs and agroforestry products, geared towards the fighting forest over-exploitation and combating bush meat off-take by hunters in communities adjacent to the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.
“At first I thought the whole idea was a big scam. It was only after I received over 15 seedlings of bush mango, bitter cola, eru and njijap free of charge that I actually believed in the mission of ERuDeF here in Folepi,” said a farmer.