Use of Eru (Gnetum africana) Cultivation as a Gateway into Sustainable Organic Farming in the Mount Cameroon Forest Region

Farmers in the Mount Cameroon Region practice traditional agriculture that is characterized by tillage and the burning of crop residues. This has resulted in soil fertility loss through erosion. As a result farmers no longer get good yields from their farms and are obliged to move from one farming area to the other (shifting cultivation). This is a big problem in the conservation of the forests of the Mount Cameroon region considered as one of the 25 biodiversity hot spots in the world. By introducing Eru into the farming system the use of fire is gradually reducing resulting in soil fertility improvement.

Project Description
This project aimed at extending skills and knowledge of eru cultivation to at least 250 people (160women and 90men) in Muyuka area, SW Province of Cameroon. This was carried out through training workshops, setting up of demonstration farms and provision of technical support to the trained farmers. This project complemented the work already carried out in parts of the Mount Cameroon region with a start up grant from NC-IUCN. The goal of this project was to promote the practice of organic agriculture in the Mount Cameroon Region, Cameroon.

  • 5 communities (250 farmers) were sensitized through village meetings, focus group meetings and individual contacts;
  • 50 pilot farmers were trained;
  • an eru seed multiplication farm was put in place to ensure the production and distribution of seedlings to trained farmers.

Read the project report.

Following the successful implementation of this project, the New Englands Biolabs Foundation approved phase II. The goal of this project was to scale up the practice of organic agriculture in more communities in the Mount Cameroon Region, Cameroon. The specific objectives were to:

  • Sensitize at least 600 people including primary school children on the cultivation of Eru;
  • Introduce high value Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) into the farming system in the Muyuka and Mbonge Subdivisions, Cameroon;
  • Train additional 25 farmers and 100 school children on the multiplication technique of Eru and on tree nursery establishment and management, farm establishment and tree planting;
  • Promote conservation education through the establishment of Forest Farm Gardens and Environmental Education Clubs in 3 primary schools in the Muyuka area;
  • Gather, document and disseminate local and scientific information on promising tree species for inclusion into the farming system by farmers.

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