Potential for collaboration with Agricultural Training Center
Global Hand Cameroon recently had the opportunity to view an exceptional example of how biological agriculture is being taught and put into practice at the Centre Polyvalent de Formation agricultural training institution in Mbouo, Bandjoun (Western Region of Cameroon).
Biological agriculture, also known as bio-ag or organic farming, is a farming system that rejects the use of synthetic chemicals or fertilizers. Bio-ag has been a somewhat controversial practice, with some farmers arguing that it is too time-consuming and too strenuous. And yet, over the years, bio-ag has proven to be the most sustainable, cost effective, and ultimately the most profitable farming system. Importantly, it has been shown to have strong health and environmental benefits.
While we often look at farming only in the light of guaranteeing food security, we cannot overlook the fact that agriculture is a primary reason why wetlands and forests are being degraded, leading to the environmental and health crises we are facing today. Considering that over half of the people living in Cameroon are small-scale or subsistence farmers, the need to utilize bio-ag techniques is urgent.
We thus were highly encouraged to see such techniques being taught at the Centre Polyvalent de Formation (CPF) when we visited. Among the existing agricultural training institutions, the CPF has an exceptional record in its training procedure. Created in 1981 by decision of the council of Evangelical Churches of Cameroon, the CPF offers multidimensional trainings, with agriculture as one of its best. Agricultural classes are focused on natural techniques to overcome both food crop and livestock challenges. Some of these techniques include the production of bio-fertilizers, efficient micro-organism (EM) bio-pesticides and bio-insecticides, enhanced organic food for animals, and the use of solar dryers to transform crops for household consumption.
During our visit at the CPF, we discussed the possibility of a collaborative effort to extend their agricultural trainings to the South West Region of Cameroon. A smooth collaboration would improve the lives of a great many people in the South West Region by improving the quality of food they eat and preserving the natural state of the environment. Together, officials at the CPF and Global Hand Cameroon are enthusiastic about pursuing such a collaboration. We have agreed to further discussions and will be working on obtaining necessary grants and other financial support to achieve this very important and promising goal.