Some 15 Agroforestry Farmers’ Networks Coordinators from across four regions of Cameroon, have come together under one umbrella, to create a National Network. They unanimously agreed on creating the network, during the just ended annual review and planning meeting for Agroforestry Coordinators held in Buea, February 9 2018.

 Melvis Takang Ma-Ebai

They approved to call the network, the Cameroon Agroforestry Farmers Network (CAFaN).

They welcomed the initiative of transforming their networks into business oriented institutions, indicating that it will bring about innovations that will augment their growth.

“I am very happy with ERuDeF for this brilliant initiative of taking us from networks to a cooperative and also showing us the necessary steps to successfully attain this goal. It is a kind of growth which all farmers need at this time. I believe as a network, we will be able to empower each other and make a better and brighter future as farmers,” said Pa Kum Nicolas, Agroforestry Farmers’ Network Coordinator from Menchum Division, Northwest Region.

Following elections conducted, Makia Henry (Agroforestry Farmers’ Network Coordinator from Meme Division, Southwest Region) emerged as President, Jean Bosco (Agroforestry Farmers’ Network Coordinator from Bamboutos Division, West Region) as Vice President, Divine Ghakanyuy (Agroforestry Farmers’ Network Coordinator from Bui Division, Northwest Region) as Secretary, Youmsi Justine (Agroforestry Farmers’ Network Coordinator from Moungo Division, Littoral Region)  as Financial Secretary, Gehmu Denise (Agroforestry Farmers’ Network Coordinator from Ngoketunjia Division, Northwest Region) as Treasurer, and Ayuk Rudolph (Agroforestry Farmers’ Network Coordinator from Fako Division, Southwest Division) as Publicity Secretary. Payong Prudence voted as an Adviser. Meanwhile, Louis Nkembi will serve as a Technical Partner, through ERuDeF.

According to the President-elect, building a solid foundation through collaboration from all and sundry, will be his first targets.

“I will first of all want to thank my fellow farmers sitting here for trusting me to handle such a huge task. And I want to say I will not fail them. Being President of the Cameroon Agroforestry Farmers’ Network (CAFaN) is indeed a challenging task but I am confident that with collaboration from my team and all the cooperatives which will be formed at the divisional levels, in years to come, this national network will be a reference to many farmers,” President Makia Henry said.

On his part, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Louis Nkembi, advised the farmers to be steadfast and assiduous to building a remarkable national network. He pledged the support of ERuDeF in playing the technical role, in giving CAFaN a formidable foundation.

According to Louis Nkembi, it is aimed at bringing all farmers on board the much anticipated opportunity for growth which has now come knocking with great signs of better and improved living standards for all farmers.

All CAFaN members were further charged with the responsibility of reorganising the networks at the Divisional levels.

It was also disclosed that Farmers within the CAFaN, will be opportune to operate as an independent business entity through the creation of their Union of Agroforestry Famers Cooperative of Cameroon.

CAFaN also aims at bringing all famers on board he much anticipated opportunity for growth which has now come knocking, with great signs of better and improved living standards for all farmers through their involvement in fair and bio-trade.

Their plan of action for the first year is legalising CAFaN, reorganising Divisional networks, coordinating divisional members to create their respective cooperatives, and increasing the visibility of CAFaN at national and international levels.

Cooperative agreements will be sough with the government of Cameroon through technical departments like the Ministry of the Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Developments (MINEPDED), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Developments (MINADER), and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF).

At the International levels, CAFaN will strengthen ties with the International Trees Foundation (ITF), World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA), amongst others.

The President of CAFaN thanked the genuine support received from Trees for the Future USA, leading up to the creation of the national network.

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