Local Economic Development

Some of the problems faced by grassroots farmers and NTFP collectors include access to markets, poor market structures, low prices and post harvest losses. By organizing and empowering its farmers and facilitating the transformation and marketing of products from domestication initiatives, CENDEP shall not only address some of the problems encountered along the market chain but also access better markets and enhance benefits for the producers at the grassroots for livelihood improvement.

Women Shredding Eru

In order to reduce post harvest losses incurred by farmers, CENDEP in 2007 in collaboration with the faculty of agricultural engineering at the University of Dschang, Cameroon conducted processing, drying, preservation and marketing trials of eru. Preliminary results included have been employment of women, value addition and a trial export. Working with local engineers CENDEP is exploring low-cost technologies for value adding for shredding, drying and packaging eru in order to improve livelihoods of local women by reducing the drudgery faced by local women during processing and to increase the shelf life of the product.

“The potential contribution of NTFPs to poverty reduction through sustainable trade and income generation is not being fully realized. There are many obstacles to subsistence farmers, local processors and traders securing a reliable and fair market for their harvested products.”

The Right Honourable Hilary Benn MP Secretary of State for International Development Government of the United Kingdom

CENDEP’s activities on the food and NTFP supply chain shall comprise the organization of producers and production to meet market demands and transformation of products for identified internal and external markets. To ensure economic and technical feasibility of this enterprise, the following broad activities shall be carried out:

  • identification of local, national and international markets;
  • community mobilization and capacity building;
  • organization of producers and production of domesticated products;
  • baseline socio-economic surveys of target groups and areas;
  • production and transformation of products;
  • marketing of transformed products;
  • elaboration and implementation of benefit utilization schemes;
  • elaboration and dissemination of lessons learnt.

At the start of 2008 CENDEP began the restructuring and legalization of newly created farmer organizations with which she works. This was through the holding of meetings to update articles of association of these organizations. Funds for registration (legalization of the four groups) were provided by the group members themselves. The project only facilitated the restructuring exercise and supported in typing of the minutes.

Efforts were made to address the issue of few trainees joining Common Initiative Groups. This is mainly due to conflicts and lack of trust in the management of common properties. To resolve this problem, CENDEP earmarked training of group leaders on key domains of group dynamics notably:

  • Leadership
  • Good governance and project implementation
  • Communication techniques
  • Conflict identification and analysis
  • Methods of conflict analysis
  • Group dynamics
  • Overview of law No. 92/006 of 14 August 1992 relating to cooperatives and common initiative groups

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“Access is needed to information on how successful NTFP commercialization can be achieved in practice, so that external support and donor investments can be targeted more effectively.”

The Right Honourable Hilary Benn MP Secretary of State for International Development Government of the United Kingdom

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