How to Make a Food Forest

Project Location: Mbiame, Cameroon

Project PartnerCENDEP

Start Date: March 2017

Est. completion Date: February 2018

How to Make a Food Forest

Mbiame village is situated within the Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon. Once covered in montane forest, this ecosystem has suffered due to extensive subsistence agriculture, cattle rearing and monoculture plantations of eucalyptus taking over. Because of this forest loss, soil and drinking water quality have been reduced, whilst erosion and poverty levels have risen. Having worked in the community since 2006, CENDEP has now partnered with ITF to address these issues in order to restore the environment and ensure a sustainable future for Mbiame’s inhabitants.

The aim of CENDEP’s project is to teach young people how to understand and protect the environment, whilst teaching them about an approach to agroforestry known as ‘analog forestry.’ This technique involves selecting tree species and planting them in such a way that the forest that grows resembles the natural forest. Sixteen youths will take part in a one week workshop in which they will learn how to create a food forest through being trained in this technique. Forty individuals will also establish small nurseries and provide part of the seedlings for planting. A food forest is a forest that meets family, community and market needs, and therefore this project will not only improve the existing situation of the environment, but also fight against poverty and empower the people of Mbiame. The project involves planting 15,000 trees on degraded forest land. This land serves as a water catchment for the village and therefore in the long term this will benefit the whole community of about 50,000 inhabitants as water flow improves.

This project supports ongoing initiatives in Cameroon that aim to replace monoculture eucalyptus plantations. Eucalyptus is an invasive and opportunistic tree species and these plantations have led to water and farm land shortages across the region. The diverse forests of the Bamenda Highlands are important to the local people and restoring this environment is key to achieve CENDEP’s mission of improving food security, enhancing income generating opportunities and promoting the conservation of biodiversity within this mountain region.

Mr & Mrs :Yusifu Vernyuy&Belta Bonyen
Mbiame Community Forest
Mr & Mrs :Yusifu Vernyuy&Belta Bonyen
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