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Over 350.000 agroforestry species of Leucaena, Acacia, Calliandra, Moringa, and Jatropha have been distributed to 50 Farmers belonging to 50 farming groups in Bangem Sub Division-South West Region of Cameroon.
This was during a three day capacity building workshop and tree planting exercise, which took place recently in the Ekambeng, Bangem and Mboku communities. Organized by Trees for the Future Cameroon, these farmers, 20 from Ekambeng Village, 17 Bangem and 18 from Mboku were schooled on the role of tree planting in the mitigation of climate change, the use of plant biomass and agro-forestry technology in improving soil fertility. They were also trained on nursery establishment and composting techniques.
To ensure a better understanding of what had been taught, the farmers were after the workshop taken to some farmlands around the area for an on-farm demonstration. After demonstrating to the farmers how plant biomass and agro-forestry technology could be used to increase farm yields, and training them on nursery establishment and composting techniques, they were given seeds of nitrogen fixing tree species and over 350000 seeds of to nurse for posterity. This move according to the TREESs Cameroon Agroforestry Assistant, Ms Tata is to divert farmer’s attention from the rather unhealthy method of farming characterized by the excess use of chemical fertilizer and to improve on degraded soil fertilizer.
The farmers these 3 communities received this technology with joy. Many of the farmers confessed that it will go a long way to improve upon their livelihoods. The Treasurer of Young Farmer’s Common Initiative Group (CIG) Ekambeng, Mr. Thomas Enongene, just like many other farmers in these communities, said the money which they used to spend on chemical fertilizers, will be diverted to other developmental activities. The president of the Struggling Hands CIG, Bangem, Mr. Primose Kang, who doubles as councilor of the Bangem Council, also revealed that this new farming technology will lead to an increase in farmer’s income. He equally complained of the increasing degradation of watersheds in the Bangem Subdivision. He hoped that the planting of these trees would help to protect these water sheds
Reacting to these, the Trees for the Future Cameroon Agroforestry Assistant attributed the degradation of watersheds in this area to the planting of non agro-forestry tree species like the Eucalyptus tree. Ms. Tata promised to extend this sensitization exercise on the importance of agro-forestry technology to primary and secondary schools in the Subdivision. Meanwhile plans are underway to train the people of these communities on transplanting techniques, simple book keeping and the use of plant biomass to improve soil fertility.
By Limbi Blessing T.