The agriculture sector in Cameroon is amongst the main occupations for over 70% of citizens and contributes enormously to the country’s economy. Furthermore, Cameroon has great potential for agricultural production. It is, however, Unfortunate to see the farming systems in Cameroon are still Archaic. Even though, it already counts for about one-third of Cameroon’s total exports. The potential for Agricultural production in Cameroon is still huge. The main exported produces being Cocoa, coffee, Cotton and Wool.
Smale-scale farms are responsible for producing a chunk of the products exported. Therefore, they lack the resources and funding to improve their the production, transportation and storage of their produce. This is why at Green farmlands we make it a mission to help these small scale farmers by teaching them new techniques like the Rapid plantain Multiplication.
In this article, e will go through the main agricultural systems in Cameroon.
Shifting cultivation is an agricultural system in which a person uses a piece of land, only to abandon or alter the initial use a short time later. This system often involves clearing of a piece of land followed by several years of wood harvesting or farming until the soil loses fertility. This is very common in the Western regions of Cameroon ( Northwest, Southwest and West Region) and Coastal plains (Kribi,Campo, Doula and Limbe). An Area of the is cleared, cultivated then abandoned after a few years for a new area. What’s more, this area is usually returned to when it is believed its fertility has been restored. On this point, the main crops cultivated using this technique are Yams, Irish potatoes, Corn, Cassava and tomatoes. Unfortunately, this system leads to soil degradation, soil erosion and forest degradation.
2. Bush Fallowing
Bush Fallowing is a farming system which is very similar to Shifting Cultivation. Due to the fact, that it also involves agriculture on a particular piece of land then abandoning it when it is infertile. However, the difference between the two is Bush fallowing is used when there is more than 33 % of available and arable and temporarily land that is cultivated while shifting cultivation is done when there is less than 33%. Bush Fallowing takes place in the same regions as Shifting Cultivation i.e the Western Highlands and Coastal plains of Cameroon.
3. Terracing and Dry Farming
Terracing is another Subsistence farming system in Cameroon. It consists of Terracing is a soil conservation practice applied to prevent rainfall-runoff on sloping land from accumulating and causing serious erosion. Terraces consist of ridges and channels constructed across-the-slope. If you are someone who has ever visited the North-West region. It is highly likely you have noticed this practice as it is very common in the region. This practice helps to reduce erosion of the soil and conserve soil nutrients. As mentioned above it is highly practised in the North West region.
4. Pastoral Nomadism
Ever been shocked to find yourself in traffic on a highway in Cameroon. Then you notice a herd of Cows passing by followed by herdsmen ( So annoying). You then ask yourself what is going on. I’m glad to tell you just witnessed a Cameroonian agricultural system. Pastoral Nomadism is a form of pastoralism when livestock are herded in order to find fresh pastures on which to graze. Generally, Nomads follow an irregular pattern of Movement. This practice is usually done all over the country but mostly by people from the North and far north region. Due to their irregular patterns, they travel long distances to find appropriate grazing areas.
5. Sedentary Subsistent Farming/Agriculture
Another popular Agricultural system in Cameroon Sedentary subsistent Farming. Agriculture, as practised in one place by a settled farmer in which fields are not rotated, is called sedentary agriculture. The term was used for primitive agriculturists in tropical Africa who farmed the same piece of land indefinitely. Usually, agriculture practised in order for one to feed their own family.
6. Plantation Agriculture
Plantation Agriculture was introduced in Cameroon by their colonial masters. This system of Farming has to do with the cultivation of a single crop on a very large scale. Crops grown on a plantation in Cameroon include rubber, Banana, plantains, palm oil, palm Kernel and tea. Plantation Farming system is Capital intensive, needs technical know-how, sophisticated machinery, fertilisers and transport facilities. Majority of plantation agriculture in Cameroon is for exportation. You can find rubber, plantain and Banana plantation on the Tiko-Douala road.
The Ministry of Agriculture are having various schemes and programs to help elevate agriculture in Cameroon but the problems still persist. Even though Farming systems in Cameroon are still backward, it is important to note that Cameroon is blessed with fertile soil except in the northern region of the country. Cameroon produces tons of foodstuff which can feed not only itself but it’s neighbouring countries.
So, it is quite disturbing to see that some orphans in Cameroon having inadequate feeding. That is why Green farmlands came up with the adopt a garden Initiative to help orphanages be able to do some little gardening in their area. This will provide some fruits and vegetable to orphanages which will give the children the nutrients needed to grow up healthy.
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