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Pitch

eucalyptus planting = high poverty, hunger, poor food security, low nutrition.drastically declining water.


Description

Summary

The expansion of agricultural activities and a variety of human activities have led to deforestation and land degradation in the grass field region of Cameroon. Most of the land in this region has been covered with eucalyptus which is not really sustainable to farming or giving any potential contribution to the forest ecological development. We are running short of the potential contribution of the forest to economic development and ecological stability.

Any form of dirt is sustainable if it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This basic tenet is defeated in the grass field region and beyond where the expansion of agricultural activities, grazing, and other subsistence activities have led to drastic deforestation, land degradation, loss of ecological stability, and the land itself.


What actions do you propose?

Rural community farmers in the grass field of Cameroon face a number of obstacles that are inhibiting reforestation with sustainable trees. Key among them include the lack of access to land, skills and knowledge to start and run sustainable tree nurseries, new technology and the start-up financing. Among other issues, this limits their capacity to both diversify from eucalyptus tree planting to multi-purpose sustainable tree planting. Women face extra obstacles through traditional customs shown through social norms.

Planting of multi-purpose sustainable trees is also challenging as small-scale farmers find it difficult to compete with large farmers that require certain quantities in acquiring nursed trees to plant in their farms. Weak institutional environments and support systems, as well as lack of information compound these challenges. Preferably, the choosing of the right initiative within many others in sustainable tree planting will depend on an existing initiative, why Nkumbiwa initiated the pilot sustainable tree planting at Dzeng. However, understanding the importance of planting of sustainable trees will be risky for farmers to embark on it if there is no current or potential demand as well as the possibilities of solving some of the ecological problems. Focusing on the existing demand will include a current unmet demand, – sustainable trees with almost the same characteristics that will replace the eucalyptus trees. The replacement of the eucalyptus trees in the grass field region of Cameroon in another term may be facing challenges despite significant donor investments in recent years. Some of the reasons why some of these initiatives are failing may include; activities being driven by donors; programs having limited impact on poor rural farmers; poor or no communication strategies; projects adopted to local need, where the participative approach will be very important.


Who will take these actions?

Studies demonstrate that agricultural and enterprise training can help rural women implement new production strategies and build assets, making them more resilient to climate and market changes. (Evenson, R. (2002). ‘Economic impacts of agricultural research and extension’ in Gardner, B. and Rausser, G. (eds), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, 1st ed, Elsevier.)Others show that effective training requires the adaptation of projects to the local needs, circumstances and social contexts, the availability of appropriate technologies and careful risk reduction. Launching “Star Your Own sustainable Tree Nursery” will greatly improve record keeping, women’s interaction with other women with similar goals in tree planting, sustainable land management and similar goals that can help them develop networks. After the end of the program, many participants shall be able to retain and continue what they have been doing as they shall be able to maintain and sustain their tree nursery.

Others show that effective training requires the adaptation of projects to the local needs, circumstances and social contexts, the availability of appropriate technologies and careful risk reduction. Launching “Star Your Own sustainable Tree Nursery” will greatly improve record keeping, women’s interaction with other women with similar goals in tree planting, sustainable land management and similar goals that can help them develop networks. After the end of the program, many participants shall be able to retain and continue what they have been doing as they shall be able to maintain and sustain their tree nursery.

 


Where will these actions be taken?

The grassfield region of Cameroon includes the North West Region, the West Region and part of the Adamawa Region of Cameroon. Nearly 75% of the rural communities of this region depend on agriculture for a living. The continuous land degradation, deforestation and the continued planting of the eucalyptus tree is making subsistence agriculture unstable. Despite the economic benefits of the eucalyptus trees, rural farmers in the grassfield region of Cameroon are looking for substitutes. Farmers have understood that eucalyptus are greatly reducing the water level making them to be losing their farmland. The continuous loss of farmland and decreasing water table may be considered to perpetuate poverty, hunger, poor availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation. This may be seen as one of the main causes of the rising urban migration.

The villages of this grassfield region are becoming the poorest in Cameroon. Comprised mostly of rural farming communities, little infrastructure exists in terms of electricity, water, roads and lack of modern communication tools (radio and television signals and the internet). With the continuous aquatic table, decreasing villagers are forced to drink from sources including irrigation ditches and streams, and together with the animals, containing high rates of harmful micro-organisms.


What are other key benefits?

Building community-managed sustainable tree nursery in the grassfield region of Cameroon will benefit the rural communities in this region. With high concentrations of the eucalyptus species of vegetation , an important component is to create new sustainable trees – particularly the G. robusta species – in order to increase fertile land, increase the water table, reduce poverty and hunger, taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Once community-managed nursery built will double income, diversify rural economies, create employment, and help to mitigate urban migration. Through a series of workshops, agricultural skills shall be developed to maintain their community-managed nurseries.

Following the demand rural communities are having for sustainable trees and especially those to replace the eucalyptus trees Nkumbiwa launched the initiative “Taking Accomplishment, Realizing Sustainable Development” with the planting of multi-purpose trees at Dzeng. 


What are the proposal’s costs?

However, the challenge of ensuring that technical training, initiating and running of the rural tree nursery is both relevant and applicable is true for both poor rural community members and the associations, organisations and churches. We may be off the point that the tree nursery training undertaken with little knowledge of the economic opportunities and the ecology of the communities of the participants rarely led to implementation. Community-managed tree nursery where rural community farmers are trained in their communities will not only permit the farmers to participate actively but also to continue with their daily activities while working with initiatives adapted to their region.


Time line

The villages of this grassfield region are becoming the poorest in Cameroon. Comprised mostly of rural farming communities, little infrastructure exists in terms of electricity, water, roads and lack of modern communication tools (radio and television signals and the internet). With the continuous aquatic table, decreasing villagers are forced to drink from sources including irrigation ditches and streams, and together with the animals, containing high rates of harmful micro-organisms.


Related proposals

However, the challenge of ensuring that technical training, initiating and running of the rural tree nursery is both relevant and applicable is true for both poor rural community members and the associations, organisations and churches. We may be off the point that the tree nursery training undertaken with little knowledge of the economic opportunities and the ecology of the communities of the participants rarely led to implementation. Community-managed tree nursery where rural community farmers are trained in their communities will not only permit the farmers to participate actively but also to continue with their daily activities while working with initiatives adapted to their region.


References

Effects of the Eucalyptus to water table in the Grassfield Region of Cameroon.

Most of the natural forest in the grass field region of Cameroon has been destroyed. Patches of private plantations of eucalyptus and cypress are found all over the region. The eucalyptus is solicited because of its high growth and because it gives straight poles that are used as electric poles and for roofing. This eucalyptus thus constitutes a good source of revenue for the private owners. These eucalyptus trees have a very high negative effect to the water table which should not be underestimated.