Some16 new farming groups made up of over 70 farmers have been integrated into the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Southwest Cameroon Agroforestry Programme. They were accepted into the agroforestry family during a regional tour across Meme, Fako, Kupe Muanenguba and Lebialem Divisions of Southwest Cameroon paid recently by the ERuDeF Agroforestry Team.
The tour, aimed at building the capacity of farmers on nursery establishments and value of agroforestry farming techniques, also provided the agroforestry team the opportunity to renew partnership with old faming groups, and welcome committed new ones.
Speaking on behalf of one of the new groups, Millennium Group in Malende-Muyuka, Fako Division, Mr. Atem Ben, a seasoned yams and melon (Egusi) farmer, lauded ERuDeF’s strides in building their capacities on the agroforestry farming techniques. He thanked the management of ERuDeF and Partners for donating seeds of agroforestry tree species like Accacia, luecaena andPrunus, among others.
“Given that our soil have become infertile due to the huge inorganic chemicals, slash and burn, and even felling down of trees that some of us practice, these agro forestry seeds after planted will help to restore our soil” He added
On behalf of his farming group, Mr Atem said they will plant 200,000 agroforestry trees in their farms, this 2017. He pleaded with the management of ERuDeF to provide farmers with more Moringa seeds giving the rich medicinal property of the plant.
The representative of another farming group, Devoted Young Farmers in Ikiliwindi in Kumba-Meme Division, Mr Kome Moses, said his group is made up of very astute young minds who are devoted to making high yields. He affirmed his group’s firm participation in the programme.
“We are very young and committed youths who came together for the mere fact of making it big in agriculture. I promise you that your accepting us would not go in vain. We shall be very committed to planting of trees. We can’t promise you more, but count on us,” Mr Kome Moses said.
Mr Palle Augustine of the Kobi Mukam Water Catchment in Ekambeng in Kupe Muanenguba Division, also promised on behalf of his group to be very committed into the agroforestry programme.
Accepting the new farming groups into the agroforestry programme, ERuDeF’s South West Agroforestry Coordinator, Mr Ngome Emmanuel, said his Organisation is out to empower committed farmers with the necessary agroforestry tools needed for them to make huge harvest. He urged the farmers to be assiduous in their activities, and be rest assured, the management of ERuDeF will provide all necessary tools needed for them to own farms with rich soils, hence making them acquire sustainable harvest.
“Planting of agroforestry trees will not only increase your yields geometrically after three years, but also provide your farms with micro-climate that will play essential roles in the reduction of soil transpiration, fight against insect pest and the mitigation of climate change. With the coming of agroforestry techniques, you all will witness high crop yields, and increase in your household income,” Mr Ngome added.
The farmers were encouraged with watering Cans, agro forestry seeds, rain boots, T- shirts, and calendars. He promised to furnish more farmers with other seeds, especially the Moringa plant which was so much loved by majority of the farmers.
The agroforestry programme falls in line with ERuDeF and Trees for the Future’s drive of planting millions of trees useful to local farmers, which can also increase their household income.