By Tiiu-Imbi Miller
Based on the report and photos of Gaston Bityo Delor
The aim was to train a small group of mostly community leaders to become experts in Inga alley cropping so that they would then train other farmers in their regions to adopt the Inga system. We are very grateful to the Guernsey Overseas Aid Commission for providing the grant for this training. We initially had planned on having five people that Gaston Bityo has already worked with. But more wanted to come, which we agreed to, so in the end there were about a dozen people.
The hotel in Kumba where the training was held, and Denis Amougou, Gaston’s co-driver and assistant, setting up the equipment.
The training was done by Gaston Bityo. It began on Wednesday afternoon (24th February), and finished on the Saturday lunch time. It covered Inga alley cropping in detail, and discussed related topics, such as why slash and burn is no longer a good option.
Breakfast for the group at the hotel, with Gaston in the lower photo. A good time to get to know each other and ask more questions.
It seems to have been a great success. Here’s a quote from Pastor Nsandah Premous
‘I will do my best to make sure I do my work well. The training was
timely and was very interesting, Mr Gaston took time to explain in
details every steps of Inga alley cropping system, in fact he is a
good teacher and a good leader.
I have already started Mr Wilson Antanga gave me Inga seed to carry to Nguti [where he comes from] . I will sent lots of pictures as you say concerning my work in Nguti. I wish to thank you for the camera and the money you sent to me.
Atanga found many Inga trees near where he is. That has been a great help, as bringing seeds or seedlings up from Bizang would be a very long and difficult journey, risking some of these fragile seeds dying.
Some of the participants. From the left Tabangmua Danisius, Prof. Tabouguie Alphonse, Gaston Bityo and Pastor Nsandah Premous. On the right is Mrs. Ngwa Relindis from Limbe, who regrettably had to miss some of the trainings as she had to care for her baby that was with her.
All the community leaders who came to this training are expected to start farmers in their regions with Inga. They were given a small payment for themselves, and money for expenses in contacting farmers, giving training to them (always includes feeding people), and of course setting up nurseries and growing seedlings. They were also given a camera and largely pictorial leaflets to give to the farmers. They already had mobile phones. A camera is essential for us to be able to keep track of what they do. All said they could start with between 10 and 100 farmers, except Mrs. Ngwa, who wants to introduce the Inga to three schools. We encouraged them to start with only 10 farmers each, and expand later. Gaston Bityo will do a follow up, and if all is well we will provide more resources for them all to expand.
Pastor Nsandah Premous reading out a note from Rainforest Saver on the left, and Gaston Bityo on the right.
Gaston Bityo with slide show.
Gaston Bityo giving the training.
Gaston Bityo gave the training, including a slide show and our excellent animation, and there was a field visit to an Inga plot and a school Inga plot that were not too far away. These had been started by Atanga Wilson, one of the community leaders that we had also invited to the training, to complete his understanding of the Inga system.
Field visit to an Inga plot, and the plot’s owner.
Visiting Inga plantation at a school. The Inga is growing well, and even though it has not been pruned the natural leaf fall already is covering the ground.
A man from IRAD (Cameroon government Institute of Agricultural Research for Development), Chrysantus, also came. He is an expert on growing fruit trees and contributed to the training. Fruit trees add to the diversity of what a farmer can grow, which is always a good thing.
Chrysantus holding a guava mancot on the left, and a grafted tangerine on the right. Marcotting and grafting are ways of propagating fruit trees.
At the end of the training the trainees were given certificates. Gaston Bityo in the centre.
The next stage will be a follow up and if all is going well we will provide further resources for these trained Inga experts to enable them to start more farmers with Inga.
Tiiu-Imbi Miller, Mrs., PhD.
The Rainforest Saver Foundation
Scottish registered charity no. SC039007
+44 (0) 131 477 6970
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With greetings to all, and wishing those of you who celebrate Easter a very happy Easter.