Centre For Nursery Development And Eru Propagation (CENDEP)
Located in the southwest region of Cameroon, CENDEP began as one of four farmer groups trained by the Limbe Botanic Garden on the domestication of eru. This wild vegetable is harvested from forests and an important food source in the region. In 1999 they adopted the name ‘Centre for Nursery Development and Eru Propagation’ (CENDEP) and became a grassroots organisation. CENDEP began teaching other farmers how to cultivate eru for income generation and to prevent the vegetable from disappearing. It has since evolved into an environmental organization and now works with local communities to restore and protect degraded forest areas.
Aims and Objectives
CENDEP’s main aims include improving food security, enhancing income generating opportunities and promoting the conservation of biodiversity in the mountain and coastal forest regions of Cameroon. One of the ways in which CENDEP works to achieve these is through ‘analog forestry.’ This is an approach to ecological restoration which uses natural forests as guides to create ecologically-stable and socio-economically productive landscapes. Additionally, CENDEP promotes the domestication of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Wild stocks of many NTFPs are at risk due to unsustainable exploitation in response to national and international market demands, poverty, lack of knowledge and agricultural expansion. CENDEP uses the principle of ‘conservation through cultivation’ and encourages enrichment planting of NTFP species which have potential for on-farm cultivation. This aims to ensure their existence and availability in the long term and to offset deficits that may arise in demand and supply from production in the wild.
Over the last 12 months, CENDEP has trained 32 youths on how to create a food forest and trained 32 participants from 10 NGOs as community facilitators on analog forestry promotion. Additionally, they organized a work shop on land access and security of tenure for small holder farmers, in particular for women, in Mbiame village in Northwest Cameroon.