Departmental Bulletin Paper Investigating Strategies for Sustainable Vegetable Food Crop System in Three Agro Ecological Zones of the Humid Tropics Area of Cameroon

TATA NGOME, Precillia Ijang  ,  AFARI-SEFA, Victor  ,  NTSOMBOH-NTSEFONG, Godswill  ,  OKOLLE, Justin  ,  BILLA, Samuel Fru  ,  MOMA, Crescence  ,  ATEMKENG FONJI, Maureen  ,  NGOME, Ajebesone Francis

39 ( 1 )  , pp.27 - 46 , 2018-03 , The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Vegetable cultivation remains an essential component of local people’s livelihoods. However, marked trend shifts in the varieties of vegetables due to large-scale commercial vegetable farming of exotic varieties in the broader market economy have resulted in the gradual disappearance of biodiversity involving vital species. The present study examined the situation of vegetable crop farming in three agro-ecological zones of Cameroon. Data were collected from a random sample of 235 respondents (177 farming households and 58 farm input wholesalers) by means of structured questionnaires. Vegetables were observed in both single and mixed cropping systems in all agro-ecological zones. Traditional vegetables such as African nightshade, waterleaf and Fluted pumpkin (okomobong) dominated in the Buea and Ebolowa areas. Over 51% of the vegetable farmers were women, although there was a rising population of men farming particularly in the Bafoussam area. Farmers remarked that pests and diseases followed by lack of good seeds were the main obstacles to vegetable farming. The study therefore points to the need for modification of the microenvironment and changing farming practices. Hence, strategies to fight poverty and malnutrition in Cameroon should include the promotion of traditional leafy and fruit vegetables by providing good quality seeds and variety screening trials.

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