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Cameroon Project – Linus Arong

Linus telling the villagers about Inga

Linus Arong Melike

Linus was trained in Inga alley cropping by Gaston Bityo. He works in the villages near the Korup National Park in the Anglophone region of Cameroon. He has trained 3 assistants who work with him.

Linus’s method differs from others in that he works with village based groups. It is traditionally the women’s job to provide the food, so it is appropriate for the women to work in the Inga alleys, though the men help with the more physically demanding jobs like pruning the trees.

Those who want to be part of the Inga project elect one woman to be the leader and organizer in that village. She ensures that when Linus and his assistants come to the village that everyone is ready for them. A village nursery is set up and up to 4000 Inga seeds are sown. Two women are then paid to care for the nursery. When the seedlings are ready for planting out the Inga farmers work together as a group, planting all the seedlings on the first farmer’s plot, then on the next one and so forth.

Communal nursery, Ikondokondo village.

This has been very successful. Linus has now (summer 2022) started Inga plots in 10 villages with over 300 farmers. The ones he started earlier have had harvests and the farmers have found that the productivity of their various crops (cassava, beans, cocoyams, maize, groundnuts, poky seeds) is much increased. That has encouraged some farmers who didn’t initially take part to join in and others who earlier left the project to come back.

There are many more villages in the region for Linus to approach, once the ones he is working with now have become independent of his help.

Linus gathering ripe maize from well grown maize plants in an Inga alley

Linus became concerned about the extensive illegal hunting in the Korup National Park. In many African forests the wildlife, particularly the larger mammals, are being decimated. In time that will lead not only to the loss of the species themselves, but also many of the trees. This is because the wildlife, particularly the larger mammals, are key pollinators. We have been working with Linus to help put in place alternatives so that hunting in the forests can be reduced.