As a prelude to 2014 World Food Day celebrations, CECOSDA travelled to meet the population Batchenga in the South region of Cameroon, precisely the people of NkolEvodo village. The meeting was part of an effort to reinforce partnership with village communities. CECOSDA was hosted by a local cooperative called Coopérative des Paysans de la Lekié (COPAL), whose president, Pierre Abe, gave us an overview of their activities, essentially centered on conservation, protection and sustainable management of forest biodiversity and ecosystems. This visit permitted CECOSDA to learn about their activities and benefit from their knowledge and technical know-how.
The presentations, which took place on various COPAL sites, were on different adaptation activities to climate change. For example, the NkolEvodo population was resorted to apiculture and have learned how to build hives. This activity has enabled them to generate income without compromising the integrity of the local ecosystem. In the same vein, COPAL has developed resources to grow mushrooms and increase the number of local banana-plantain plantations. These diverse activities are part of a movement towards the diversification of biological resources, the growth of revenue sources for local populations, and increasing food security.
In order to ensure that these acquired skills last or even bring on others, an educational meeting was organized. It allowed CECOSDA to exchange with youth from the region involved in agricultural production. The meeting, which took place in the COPAL offices, dealt with food security through biological agriculture, and also discussed other activities that generate revenue (for example, harvesting non-wood forest fruit, reforestation with forest species, etc.). The main goal was to help these populations, who live with environmental concerns on a daily basis, with their actions to protect the environment through more effective sustainable development communications. More specifically, discussions dealtwith:
During these exchanges, which were very interactive, the youth in attendance were shown how to create a plantation by the meeting facilitator. It seems that the arrival of new hybrid varieties requires more light resources than older varieties. After having listened to the speaker, the youth then presented their perceptions of biological agriculture,and discussed some of their problems. The practical phase of this meeting took place in the forest, where the youth were invited to participate in a non-wood forest fruit gathering session. They collected the Ricinodendronheudolotii, commonly known as the “ndjansang” (see photo below). Beyond raising awareness of the nutritional and commercial values of this fruit, CECOSDA was able to point out the relationship between the protection of the environment and food security. The choice of this fruit was not by chance, even if it is true that the region has an abundance of it, and it is only the third most important source of revenue for the population. Pleased with their abundant harvest, the youth from NkolEvodo and the COPAL executive thanked the CECOSDA team, and asked that we visit as often possible.