Helping the rice farmers in Ngoketunjia, Cameroon
We work with the local farmers to find sustainable solutions as a means of empowering the community
Rice is the main cash crop in the villages of Ngoketunja in the North West Province of Cameroon. This project was initiated at the behest of the farmers. A woman's group approached us due to the hardships and difficulties that they face at the rice farms.
So we went to the farms with them and what we witnessed made us determined to find a way of helping them.
When we surveyed the farmers we found that less than 2% had yields that reached or exceeded the expected levels.
To help the rice farmers, we will introduce an innovative technique called SRI (System of Rice Intensification). SRI has been introduced to over 45 countries, with benefits including increased yields (50-100% or more), a reduction in seed requirements (up to 90%), water savings (50% or more), reduction in chemicals used (30% or more) and a reduction in pests, diseases etc.
SRI is advocated for by Cornell University , the World Bank , Oxfam and Africare as a technique that empowers grass root rice farmers.
We trained 3 farming groups in 2013; an additional 5 in 2014 and 5 more in 2015. With SRI the farmers are finding that the average number of tillers increased from an average of 18 to 45 ! Here are some of the observations from the plots of the 5 groups trained this year:
The average tillers are as follows ( random sampling ) : lowest number of tillers 37 highest number tillers 53= 45 average
Pinnacles : lowest number 12 highest…
Posted by Tamara on January 18, 2016 at 11:56pm
Last year we imported rotary weeders from India to Cameroon to help the farmers; the weeders not only reduce the time taken for the farmers to weed their farms and reduce the extremely strenuous physical labour that the farmers have to put into their farms; but more importantly these should stimulate greater plant growth and productivity through active soil aeration and pruning of roots near the surface (that stimulates the growth of larger and deeper root systems).
When farmers started using weeders they found the time taken to work the same plot was reduced from 2.5 hours to 45 minutes…Continue
Posted by Tamara on October 21, 2015 at 3:30am
Last year we imported rotary weeders from India to help the farmers. The farmers found the weeders extremely useful - they helped to solve the problem of back breaking manual labour.
This year we asked the farmers to manufacture these locally; this initiative was managed by the women. The women found the workers, supervised the work and the design and funded some of the cost themselves.
This pictures show the first two weeders they have had made
Posted by Tamara on May 25, 2015 at 7:00am
With the introduction of SRI, we taught the farmers to use organic composts.
However the farmers faced again faced the problem of acquiring sufficient compost and this time due to the shortage of supply. Our concern is that as the farmers expand on their use of SRI, they will not be able to get the compost that they need.
Therefore in partnership with Forest & Agroforestry Promoters in Ndop, we provided training on making composts.
The farmers have all the materials that they need and with this skill, they will be able to reduce their…Continue
Posted by Tamara on January 18, 2015 at 4:00pm