Increasing Yields Through Improved Farming
Africa has 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land. In most parts of Africa, agriculture accounts for 40% of GDP, employs approximately 70% of the African population and provides employment for 90% of the rural population a greater majority of which are smallholder farmers. In Cameroon, agriculture accounted for approximately 42% of the country’s GDP in 2013. According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation, in Cameroon it is estimated that rural women supply about 90% of the food needed for the subsistence of the population and women devote 6 to 8 hours a day to agriculture in addition to their household work. Despite huge manual labour inputs invested in the fields, these rural women still struggle to meet up with their basic needs. This is so because over the years small scale farmers have held on to archaic farm practices even though faced with challenges such as increasing climate variability and change which pose multiple challenges; reducing food productivity and production. For agriculture to be sustainable, food production must be achieved in a more efficient and sustainable manner. The real challenge lies in meeting this aim against a backdrop of climate change and degradation of natural resources. Increasing food production will therefore mean focusing on efficiency in farming practices.