Strengthening agroforestry and integrated rural development in Cameroon

Strengthening agroforestry and integrated rural development in Cameroon

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The Tayap Eco-Orchards (TEO) project is located in Tayap Village in Cameroon. The project focuses on protecting endangered environment surrounding Tayap Village by reducing deforestation and land degradation. This initiative is led by a local farmers’ association, TEO, which combines climate change mitigation strategies and alternative and sustainable revenue generation through the implementation of an agroforestry system. This system is based on sustainable agricultural practices and works to diversify the local economy through eco-tourism activities. The project also focuses on the inclusion and engagement of women and the youth.

No Poverty , Zero Hunger , Gender Equality , Decent Work and Economic Growth , Sustainable Cities and Communities , Responsible Consumption and Production , Climate Action , Life on Land

Tayap village is located in the Congo Basin forest in Cameroon. It is the world’s second largest rainforest. Due to overexploitation of the forest, rampant logging, and damaging agricultural practices over the past two decades, roughly 120 hectares of Tayap forest is lost annually. Primary forests now represent less than 30% of the total area. Due to the loss of local biodiversity, farmers are experiencing a decrease in crop yields and loss of revenue. TEO responded to the need in their local farming community and offered the Tayap farmers assistance in tackling these challenges.

With the goal of preserving the farmers’ livelihoods and conserving local wildlife and biodiversity in the Tayap region, TEO set out to establish an agricultural system based on the principles of sustainable forest management and agroforestry. Through this integrated and participatory approach, the project established an eco-tourism complex dedicated to the promotion of biodiversity, land and forest rehabilitation, and the conservation of natural resources. The main goal of the program is to reduce the deforestation of the Tayap forest by conserving its 1,400 hectares.

The ecotourism complex was created by the beneficiary community and GIC AGRIPO, a civil society organization. The idea is to enable tourists to stay in an exceptional site while sharing the life with the local community and discovering its culture. Their stay generates income that is invested in the pursuit of ecosystem protection and conservation actions, as well as in socio-economic development projects. Tayap's ecotourism complex offer has been structured around the creation of accommodations and activities. The initial accommodation capacity was limited to four hosting rooms. The ecotourism activities are designed and structured to improve Tayap's natural, agricultural and cultural resources.

The major activities currently available are: the path of the caves which is a walking guided tour to discover the unique natural and cultural heritage of the village; and a guided visit to farms by the owner himself to discover the adaptation model implemented in Tayap to preserve the land. Green classes have been designed and are being conducted, specifically for pupils from various schools. It is a pedagogical program whose aim is to make younger people aware of their environment and the challenges of sustainable development.

The results of the project include the establishment and subsequent management of a Women Sustainable Development Fund that supports sustainable income generating activities through a legalized cooperative. There has been a reduction of unsustainable practices of 60% in Tayap forests, and over 20 agroforestry products from the eco-orchards have been introduced to the local market, including mango saplings and other trees. The program contributes to the fight against deforestation (by reducing the practice of slash-and-burn agriculture) as well as the conservation of primary forest, which still represents 30% of the village area. Slash-and-burn farming is no longer practiced by 10% of farmers in Tayap, saving almost 24 hectares of forest; 60% of farmers have reduced its use, pledging to restore their agricultural fallow by planting orchards, to better manage available fallows, and to reduce the rotation rate of fallows (86 hectares restored). The program promotes the preservation of natural resources and biodiversity, a guarantee of sustainable development in harmony with the forest. Reducing slash-and-burn agriculture helps to conserve forests and associated species, resources valued by the community. By adopting climate-smart agricultural practices, the community preserves its lands. It contributes to climate change mitigation, both by conserving the local carbon sink and increasing it through restoring fallows.

Cameroon

GEF Small Grants Programme , Education for Nature program of WWF USA , French government initiative for social innovation in developing countries , Engineers without Borders Cameroon , SEED award grant , Online UN Volunteers , Kokopelli association

Agriculteurs Professionnels du Cameroun AGRIPO

Establishing a training network to improve vegetable farming for women in Cameroon

Establishing a training network to improve vegetable farming for women in Cameroon

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The International Centre for Environmental Education and Community Development in Cameroon (ICENECDEV) empowers people to protect the environment and improve sustainable livelihood. In particular, ICENECDEV is building a global grassroots movement to raise environmental awareness, promote education and support community development by sharing practical ways in which people are addressing environmental issues and improving sustainable livelihoods. In this regard, ICENECDEV has established a training program to improve vegetable farming for women. The project aims to enhance the livelihoods of rural women farmers in 8 villages by improving literacy and agricultural farming.

No Poverty , Zero Hunger , Gender Equality , Climate Action , Eradicate extreme poverty , End hunger, especially of poor, vulnerable, infants , End malnutrition, especially in children, women, elders , Ensure women’s participation, equal leadership opportunities , Ensure women’s equal rights to resources, inheritance , Strengthen resilience, adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards , Improve learning, capacity on climate change measures , Improve learning, capacity on climate change measures

While the percentage of people living in poverty has decreased in urban areas of Cameroon, it has increased in rural areas where nearly half of all Cameroonians live. Nearly 6 million rural people, about 55% of the rural population in Cameroon, still live in poverty. Over half of all men and women employed in Cameroon work in the agricultural sector, which makes up 20% of Cameroon’s GDP. In regards to formal education, only 21% of females in Cameroon have secondary school education in contrast to 35% of males, while 64% of women are participating in the formal labor force compared to 77.4% of men. The overall aim of the project is to enhance the livelihood of rural women in the villages of Bolifamba and Muea by improving literacy and agricultural farming skills through the establishment of a sustainable network of women farmers.

In order to support the livelihood of women farmers, ICENECDEV has established a training program to improve vegetable farming. The training program covers farming topics, such as land preparation, including the identification of farming inputs and techniques on how to measure farmland. This training also includes techniques for applying nursing seeds, such as carrots and huckleberry and transplanting them.

The training program also focuses on the exchange of market information and has improved learning opportunities for its participants. Due to its success, the project has been replicated in the northwest region of Cameroon, specifically in the village communities of Guzang, Bessi and Batibo.

Results Achieved

The creation of the vegetable training program provided the opportunity for rural women to improve their livelihood. The training program has also improved literacy and farming inputs through its members and other women’s groups.

In particular, the training program achieved the following results:

• 110 rural women across the local communities increased their knowledge around land preparation and farming inputs by sharing their knowledge with each other.

• 110 rural women have a sustained increase of 100% in their average household income to 80,000FRS per month due to improved business and income generation skills.

• The trained rural women have further trained more than 1,000 rural women from other villages.

• These rural women use their improved literacy skills to keep records of their sales of vegetable production, as well as fertilizer inputs.

Cameroon

MIVA Switzerland , Feed the Minds UK , 1% Fund for Development Switzerland

ICENECDEV-International Centre for Environmental Education and Community Development

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