Enhancing root crops production and utilization among Cameroon’s rural poor: lessons from Bonavada

Pages 58-64

J.M. Ngeve

ABSTRACT

In 1997, Cameroon government launched a scheme to help Bonavada community by resettling young school leavers. This study used a 70 point questionnaire in the first quarter of 1997. The study found that root crop and the main food crops in the area together with maize, plantain and leaf vegetables. However cocoyam was the preferred specie. A greater proportion of both native and non-native farmers preferred yams and plantain besides cocoyam for cultivation. The major constraints to these crops as regards production relates to root rot of cocoyam, mosaic of cassava, yam nematode and beetles, dasheen mosaic virus for cocoyam, sweetpotato virus and weevils, as reported by researchers. The perception of farmers for cassava was soil fertility depletion, cost of planting materials and transportation of stakes for yam, lack of improved varieties for all these root and tuber crops. In general, most farmers were willing to accept agricultural innovations wanting credit to fund farm operations. They have in the first year learn minisett technique among young farmers and many farming groups have been formed specializing in sweetpotato, vegetables, yam minisetts, traditional yam production and maize. Overall the villagers are divided in their views such that technologies requiring high level of know-how are more appropriate for young educated farmers whereas the others prefer simple technologies that match their skills, credit facilities and circumstances.  Credit facilities are welcome by males who see this as a source of cash to settle social needs before undertaking farming activities. If properly supervised, the project will help contribute to Cameroon’s problems of food self sufficiency.

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