|Where in the world||Bamenda Highlands, Northwest & Southwest Cameroon|
|How did it start ?
||Forest fragmentation and biodiversity loss.|
|How were they suffering?
||Soil erosion means subsistance farming no longer meets people’s needs for food.|
|What did they do ?
||Trained farmers in sustainable farming and agroforestry whilst providing seeds etc.|
|How did it turned out ?
||The initiative has directly impacted 32.625 people; Yields have increased threefold.|
Population pressure in the Bamenda Highlands
led to forest fragmentation & biodiversity loss as most lands are used for pasture and food crop farming. This is accompanied by soil burning for quick vegetation regeneration, which has decreased soil fertility. Soil erosion has increased especially in the slopes leading to siltation of rivers in the valleys and water sources are drying up.Weak community tenure rights, ineffective area governance & complexity of forestry laws/regulations have also led to unsustainable resource use. Traditional farming practices combined with the effects of climate change have reduced crop yields to the extent that subsistence farming no longer meets the food demands of families.
The Community Agriculture and Environmental Protection Association aims to improve resilience of farming systems and livelihood strategies for small holder farmers (especially Mbororo Fulani Pastoralists) to enable them cope with climate variability, and adapt to long-term climate change through increased afforestation.
The seeds, tree species and sustainable farming techniques provided are the most current and best available, sourced through local universities. Manure is used to enhance the soil, crops are planted in contours to minimize erosion and the farmers are taught to conserve and compost
organic waste to use as a soil enhancer.Water catchment systems are also utilized to capture water during rainy periods for use when water becomes scarce.
The initiative has directly impacted 32,625 people, trained 500 innovative farmers & resulted in 5000 trees planted. Farm yields have increased threefold, supporting farm families with surplus for sale at local markets. Watershed and river/creak protection is also reducing soil erosion and improving water quality. A simplified handbook on Cameroon land tenure system has been produced and workshops have helped women establish micro-businesses & led to cultural shifts such as reduced widowhood rite duration from six months to three days in villages.