Renewing Hope in Cocoa Farming
Muyuka, South West Region, Cameroon. Alexander Njang is a cocoa farmer in Muyuka, South West Region, Cameroon. He is a member of the local cocoa farmer cooperative, OWEFCOOP. Mr. Njang inherited his 3 hectare cocoa farm from his father and, as a young farmer, he applied the farming practices he learned from his father.
Although Mr Njang is known as one of the most experienced farmers in his community, he has never achieved the yield he expected. He worked very hard, but continued to struggle to maintain the farm in good condition and control pests and diseases.
Based on the low yields and limited income from the cocoa farm, Mr. Njang decided to abandon cocoa and switch to citrus production. But, before he could put this plan into action, he learned about the World Cocoa Foundation Cocoa Livelihoods Program, and decided to give cocoa one last try.
He enrolled in the farmer field school training being offered through the program. There he learned about good agricultural practices that helped to improve his cocoa production. “I thought leaving the farm as a forest was the solution to my problem,” he said, “Thanks to WCF-CLP, I can now prune and manage shade effectively. Even without use of fertilizer, my yield has tripled from 20 bags per acre to 60 bags.”
With his increased income, Mr. Njang was able to build a house and buy two motorbikes (pictured) to use in his farming business. “I almost gave up cocoa farming; I have now four hectares of land to expand my cocoa farm thanks to the program,” he adds. He has also established a nursery where he raises cocoa seedlings for his own farm and sells some seedlings to other cocoa farmers in the community.