Nitcheu Jean Baptiste, a small holder farmer in Bakassa, passionate about agriculture, has achieved prosperity from his farm since he adopted Forest Garden practices.
Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agro forestry system on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans.
TREES FOR THE FUTURE, in partnership with ERuDeF (Department of Agroforestry), have introduced the Forest Garden Model across all landscapes they work in, within Cameroon. The purpose is to plant trees that will help in restoration and environmental conservation, increase food crop profits and income levels of smallholder farmers. Bakassa is a community in one of this landscapes in which framers are practicing the Forest Garden system of farming.
Nitcheu Jean, one of these farmers implementing this practice, grows crops such as maize, beans, cocoyams, vegetables, tomatoes, spices, fruit trees (pear, passion fruit), acacia, leucaena and neem, on his farm. All of which, he aligns in a pattern that suits the forest garden model. His farm is a perfect example of what this model resembles.
Being passionate about Agriculture with an entrepreneurial mindset, Jean Baptiste uses plastic cups to nurse tomato cuttings.
“I use white plastic cups to multiply tomato cuttings. Usually, I cut the cuttings, dip them in water, put them in plastic cups and cover with white plastic. After two weeks, I transplant the tomato cuttings. I also perform the same practice for pepper but the difference is that I nurse the seeds directly into the plastic cup“, said Nitcheu Jean-Baptiste.
“We’ve discovered that this method is economical as people demand tomatoes /pepper throughout the year”, He added.
The major challenges he encounters are those of pests (insects) that destroy crops and as well as the lack of consistency in water supply.
This practice serves as a source of income as he generates healthy profits from it. Mr. Jean Baptiste gains additional income from pears, bananas, passion fruit, spices, beans, maize, coco yams he has on his farm. Medicinal trees such as Acacia aid in improving soil fertility and retaining water content on his farm, thus increasing productivity.
By C. Nchindo