Local Economic Development - Page 2
In 2008, two baseline surveys were conducted, one each in the NW and SW Regions of Cameroon. In the SW region a baseline study was conducted to provide baseline information on the socio-economic characteristics of Eru farmers, environment and resource use necessary to guide development of the Eru value chain in the buffer zone of the Korup National Park (KNP). The study used essentially primary data collected from respondents in 7 of the 8 village communities where CENDEP is working through administering of questionnaires and focus group discussion with Eru farmers and potential Eru farmers.

The results indicated that the Eru domestication technology was still new to some farmers. It requires some time for them to master production in order to characterize it at local level. Present farmers’ farm sizes range from 0.01ha to 6.6ha with an average of 0.7ha and they intend to plant 2 to 400 stands of Eru with the average per farmer being 57 stands. In the coming years farmers are planning to plant between 30 and 1000 seedlings with an average of 168 seedlings per farmer. They are also willing to extend their farm sizes between 0.02ha to 100ha with an average of 3ha.

Farmers have not started independent production of seedlings for their own farms. They are still depending entirely on the seedlings that are raised in the group propagators donated by CENDEP. These propagators have the capacity to supply the entire villages where they are found and the surplus can be sold to others who are interested in the domestication of Gnetum. Respondents could produce from 30 to 10,000 seedlings using the groups’ propagators and individual’s propagator if they will have the required resources. This will offer an annual average production of 1168 seedlings that will satisfy their local demand and surplus for sale.

The local Eru chain is characterized by a high demand and low supply of the produce. This has necessitated the importation of Eru from the main metropolis, Kumba. The main actors at the local level include harvesters from the wild, seedling producers who are being trained by CENDEP, middlemen who buy from the main metropolis, shredders in the local markets and restaurant owners who are the main consumers. The main constraints are found in the organization of farmers into groups and letting them mastering the production process. To improve production it requires more emphasis be placed on seedling production. This will enable many farmers to enter the production chain. From the perception of farmers, most of them are enthusiastic domesticating Gnetum.

There are technical services like ICRAF and CIFOR who are willing to offer the necessary technical support for improved production. Other service providers are also necessary to build the capacity of the groups in group dynamics. A realistic strategic plan needs to be set up for the groups and the intervention of government services is also necessary for the development of this produce chain. There is still a lot of potential for the development of Gnetum chain for community benefit. This is possible through re-organization of actors and making improvements in production of seedlings. Read the full report.

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Analogue Forestry
Sustainable Agriculture

“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