Some farmers in Bakassa village, Haut-Nkam Division, use tephrosia as a local crop treatment component. Tephrosia is a genus flower belonging to the Fabaceae family. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ‘tephros’ meaning “ash-colored,” referring to the greyish tint given to the leaves by their dense trichomes. Mr Nitcheu Jean-Baptiste, one of the farmers in the Bakassa village, uses tephrosia as a treatment on his farm.
Mr Nitcheu says tephrosia is very toxic and kills insects in the farm. He added that he prepares the treatment by; fermenting the tephrosia plant in water for one week (Experiment A), soaking tobacco separately in water for about a week (Experiment B), then mixes the two (Experiment C). He drains Experiment C with the use of a sieve and pours them into pumps to serve as treatments (insecticides) on tomatoes, pepper and coffee.
“When this insecticide is sprayed on crops in the farm, you see how insects fall off crops instantly. It is very effective” Mr Nitcheu added.
He testifies that the treatment allows his crops to yield more outputs, thus increasing his income level. The treatment is affordable as the plant grows naturally and is less time consuming to cultivate.
The farmers in this village have been using this technique introduced by Mr Nitcheu for over a year and are happy with the results they’ve achieved. More farmers are gradually adopting the technique as they seek to improve their productivity of crops.
Mr Nitcheu wishes that the technique be tested scientifically as there is limited knowledge on possible side effects the treatment can cause.