No. 63 We’re doing well! And Mrs. Mendo’s newsletter to us.
By Mrs. Mendo, with Gaston Bityo, Tiiu Miller | Newsletter No. 63 July 2015

Our crowd funding was a success. We exceeded our goal of £2700 and raised £2790. Many thanks again to all who donated.

The money has gone off to Honduras, and we will report later on how Dr. Valle gets on with the teaching of new schools in Western Honduras, and planting Inga plots at these schools.

 

Do you remember Mrs. Mendo, one of the very first Cameroon farmers to try the Inga system? She was particularly pleased that she could re-fertilise the badly degraded land right next her house with the Inga because the elephants had just destroyed her crops in the forest. They don’t come close to houses.

 

She has now had three good harvests, and helped the whole project by allowing us to plant a no-Inga comparison plot right next the Inga plot, same maize seed, same planting and harvesting time, and the Inga plot produced up to ten times more!

 

Here’s a newsletter from her, as told to Gaston Bityo.

 

My name is Mrs. Mendo Antoinette; I come from Allen, Bengbis. I work with the Cameroon Inga Project since about five (05) years.

As you know I got a medal because I do the promotion of a new agricultural system here in Allen, the Inga Alley Cropping system.

 

 

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Medal being pinned on.

 

We didn’t know this system here at Allen before, but I decided to try it and I finally found that it is a good system because not only it increases the crop production but also it restores the soil. I found it myself when I compare the production of maize on the Inga plot to that on the plot without Inga as we did the comparison between the two plots with Gaston Bityo Delor and the Cameroon Inga Project and the results have been published.

 

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Maize about as high as the children at the back in the Inga plot on the left, and compared to the hen in the no-Inga plot on the right. Planted at the same time, and photographed on the same day.

 

Because I found that this new system of agriculture, The Inga Alley Cropping system, is a good system, I decided to extend my Inga plot. I also created an Inga nursery to distribute the seedlings to other farmers and my will is to promote this system in all the area of Bengbis. Unfortunately many farmers don’t understand yet the benefits they have by practicing this new system of agriculture. Only one person Mfoula (except Emmanuel Ongono who died, May His Soul Rest In Peace), started his own Inga plot.

I need to tell you that many people were about to start their Inga plots, but another project came and they stopped the work they wanted to do with Inga to join the new project because they were receiving some money from that project. I don’t know what this new project was for, I was not interested in that project because I couldn’t do many things at the same time.

I seize this opportunity to thank the Cameroon Inga Project and RainForest Saver for their help and support.

I am sure that in the near future with the results we obtained; many farmers will adopt this new system of agriculture, the Inga Alley Cropping system. You know, we have been doing the slash and burn agriculture for years; it is not easy to abandon it immediately.  I accepted to try the new system after following the explanations given by Mr. Gaston Bityo Delor about that system and I said to myself this is something that can help me to feed my children and to improve our living conditions. And also my soil was not giving good production anymore and I wanted to see if the explanations given were right and Thank God I found they were. And I said I was right to adopt this new system and now to extend my Inga plot.

 

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Mrs. Mendo’s water supply, and the path up from it, which is steeper than the you might think from the photo.

 

I want to conclude saying that we would like the Cameroon Inga Project and also RainForest Saver to help us to find individuals or organizations that can supply us with the solar energy and clean water. We have no electricity here and our children cannot study in the night and this has an impact on their results at school. Also the water we drink is not of good quality if we are sick we will not have the strength again to work in our Inga plots

Thank you

 

In case you have missed it, here is the diagram of the first comparison plots.  Several more are due to be harvested shortly.

 

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Mrs. Mendo grew some peppers in her Inga plot as well, so it was even more productive than the maize yields show.