PRESS RELEASE, WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2013, BUEA, SW CAMEROON
In order to promote sustainable agriculture and reduce substantial use of chemical fertilizers in peasant farms in Cameroon, Trees for the Future Cameroon (known as TREES Cameroon) in partnership with the Environment and Rural Development Foundation, (ERuDeF) have launched the 2013 Best Agro-forestry Farms Awards. The award amounting to over FCFA 3.700.000 (US$ 7800) will be given to 13 best agro-forestry farms, each per Division distributed across the Northwest, West, Littoral and Southwest Regions in December 2013. The award information was made public by the Country Director of Trees for the Future Cameroon, Louis Nkembi, recently in a chat with the officials of the Communication Department of TREES Cameroon and the Cameroon Desk Manager at Trees for the Future, Maryland USA, Benjamin Addlestone, in February 2013 during a one-week tour of their projects in the Western Highlands region of Cameroon.
This prize, Nkembi explained, will only be given to farming groups and not to individuals whose members have individually planted at least 5000 leguminous trees in their farms in the course of 2013. The Trees for the Future Country Director, Louis Nkembi, who doubles as the President/CEO of ERuDeF further revealed that the seeds and seedlings will be supplied by the organisation. Such species would include Acacia, calliandra, Leucaena, Prunus, Grevillia ETC.
The importance of this award is to encourage farmers to incorporate modern agro-forestry technologies into their farming systems and abandon the use of expensive and unhealthy chemical fertilizers costing up to (FCFA 20.000-25.000 for a 50 kg bag).
The access to improved and increasing food production has become very difficult for rural resource poor farmers, thus increasing food insecurity in the rural areas of Cameroon. It is, therefore, the mission of Trees for the Future Cameroon to fill this gap and move the Cameroon rural world along the lines of the green and sustainable economy, Nkembi added.
The overall objective of this award is to increase food security in Cameroon especially among the rural resource poor peasants.
Trees for the Future is a USA-based charity working in the tropics to promote sustainable land husbandry and reduce poverty among resource poor farmers through the use of multi-purpose and fast growing agro-forestry species.
Trees for the Future began operations in Cameroon in 1990 and in 2007, it became a full Cameroon Program.