Following a visit by Henri Eyebe Ayissi, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in March 2018, a convention has been signed between Hevecam and the State of Cameroon to commit to the development of this initiative. Investment will be channeled into the development of 500m2 vegetable plots in each village and up to twenty 5000m2 ponds, predicted to produce a 640 tonnes of fish annually. With financial contribution shared between Hevecam and the state, Mr Ayissi shared that ‘this is an excellent partnership aligned with the ambitions of the Head of State.’
Following the success of a 5309m2 pilot site pond developed over a four-month period, further construction will soon be welcomed across the surrounding villages. These neighboring pond sites have since been shortlisted and rigorously assessed for suitability against water and soil criteria.
Priming for the scheme’s expansion into neighbouring communities, a vast kitchen garden spanning 500m2 has been cultivated in the heart of the concession – accompanied by a germination plot established for the transplanting of crops into the pilot site. The crops selected will meet each village’s unique requests, as informed by local consultations, bringing harvests that include tomatoes, peppers, chilis, corn, celery and herbs.
Fride Fotso, Head of the Agro-Pastoral Unit, is bringing the project to fruition and is actively disseminating her expertise through participant training programmes. These have been instrumental in educating local people in best practice and upkeep of the plots, and Ms Fotso commented that ‘the first harvests from the pilot vegetable garden were distributed, sold and consumed by our workers who enjoyed themselves’ throughout the process. Encouraged by the enthusiasm of those embracing the initiative, the Hevecam Agro-pastoral team will continue to coordinate group training sessions free of charge.