Forest Gardens Campaign

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Forest Gardens Campaign

Cameroon
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Forest Gardens Campaign is a project that aims at improving on the nutritional standards of local community members, increasing the level of youths involvement in agriculture, discouraging poor and unsustainable farming practices, encouraging the planting of tree and fighting climate change by practically teaching, encouraging and assisting communities to act.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

This project addresses the problems of, malnutrition caused by low farm output, unemployment and rural exodus caused by lack of youths interest in agriculture, poor farming practices by local communities, over grazing which is experienced when cattle is let loose, environmental pollution caused by use of inorganic pesticides and fertilizers and climate change. The problem of low agricultural yields leads to a drop in standards of living and consequently nutritional standards. The traditional farming systems of shifting cultivation and slash and burn are leading to loss of forest cover, poor soil quality which leads to low farm yields. This project also addresses climate change which is caused by lose of forest cover and increase in the world’s green house gases emission levels.
About You
Organization:
Green Cameroon
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name

MASANGO

Last Name

SONE

Organization

Green Cameroon

Country
Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Green Cameroon

Organization Phone

+237 7775 68 81

Organization Address

Green Cameroon, C/O Masango Sone, Box 96, Buea Cameroon

Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

Our idea is unique because we are using a system of agriculture to better living standards, improve on nutritional standards, land management practices and at the same time encourage trees propagation and general protection of the environment. We think this approach is unique because local communities see their farm land and forest as their only means of subsistence and when you tell them to conserve the forest and trees when they don't have enough to live on, they consider you to be an enemy of their progress. Our project therefore brings out the advantages of keeping forest, cattle, and crops at the same time which maximizes farmland use and cattle yield. In a period when inorganic fertilizers which are not only harmful to the environment but expensive and can not be afforded by the local poor small scale farmers, our project comes as a remedy to the problem of decreasing farm yields bringing hope to local families and youths who are faced with high level of unemployment. Also, our combination of a well calculated set of crops, trees and cattle on the same piece of land is a practice that is not known around here and can be very effective in solving problems of soil degradation, low crop yields and over grazing which is experienced when cattle are left to graze in open fields. Finally, most farmers have been reluctant to practice organic farming because most local community farmers do not have the practical know-how on how to manage and run it.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
What impact have you had?

We are in the first year of the project and we have four sample forest gardens already in four communities and we are still working on adding more. Impact so far can be seen through the various farmers, families and communities that have manifested interest in taking part. We have manifestations of interest from five other communities, making more than one hundred families and 50 individual farmers. We have also done much at the level of sensitization and educating communities on the importance of the project thus most communities are already aware of the realities of climate change, the importance of conservation efforts and the benefits expected from the forest gardens.

Actions

The steps that are being put in place to make the project successful are as follows,
- A meet the people tour which has the objective of sensitizing local populations about the project, its advantages, stages and activities. (This step has already been carried out)
- Acquiring pieces of land and seeds for the sample forest gardens.
- Setting up nurseries in the sample gardens for tree seeds and crops.
- The forth step involves planting crops and tree species on the sample gardens. This step will go alongside training of some community members on the practicality of nursing, planting and caring of the gardens.
- The forth step will involve involves the introduction of cattle into the sample gardens
- putting in place nurseries for trees and other crops to be used by communities
- Handing of seeds to communities for planting and follow up of planting.
- Introduction of cattle in the community farms
- Evaluation and reporting.

Results

We expect to
-Raise nutritional standards in these communities and improve the living standards of more than 300 families
-Increase crop/cattle yields in these communities.
-Increase the rate of forest cover
-Get more youths involved in agriculture
-Improve on farming methods and practices
-Reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in our communities
-Reduce rural exodus and
-Create awareness on nutritional/environmental issues.
-Contribute to reducing the rate of carbon content in the atmosphere by planting at least three thousands five hundred trees thus fighting climate change.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

For the project to be successful over the next three years, it would take,
For the first year, a strong panel of nutritionists, botanists, animal care officials, agro forestry experts coupled with a rich healthy collection of tree, crop and cattle species. Good and enough pieces of land, massive participation from the local communities mostly women and good weather conditions, good pest control/animal decease control mechanism,
For the second year, enough tree/crop seeds for the communities, availability of a good collection of cattle species, commitment on the part of the trained community members to assist and advice others, enough manpower for follow up and advice, a good net work for the sharing of information among communities and participants, good pest control/animal decease control mechanism and a good market/prices for garden products.
For the third, enough manpower for follow up and evaluation, good market conditions for garden products, a means for sharing information amongst farmers and communities and capacity building of some community members on plant and animal care and treatment. Manpower for evaluation and production of project report.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

We are expecting that the community members who will be trained during the setting up of the sample gardens will train other community members in the setting up and management of the gardens. If some of them fail to do this properly then we might be needing extra hands and this might result to some setbacks.
If weather conditions change to worse, yields might be affected. The out breaks of animal deceases are also some of those risks which might affect the projects success. We are also expecting part of the funding for continuation to come from the proceeds from the sample farms which means that part of the continuation has much to do with yields from sample farms.

How many people will your project serve annually?

101‐1000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

Green Cameroon

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

The other organisations we are partnering with are responsible for helping with advicing community members where we have gardens. they are also very instrumental in the area of sensitisation. Some also help us with nursery facilities. Our partnership with the government is mostly in the domain of resources persons like animal care officials and foresters. We have the possibility to ask for some government officials to offer services in fields where we don't have adequat personnel.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

Three most important actions needed to grow my organization and initiative are, putting us in contact with other organizations and funders who do or are interested in our line of activities for the sharing of resources, ideas and funding.
Secondly, for this initiative to grow, We very much need outside help in terms of volunteers since the early stage of this project requires extra care and enough attention to make sure that the crops, trees and cattle do well and it is much work for a few people to attend to all the communities involved and transportation from one community to another is not very easy.
The third important action is funds to enable us expand to reach all the communities that need our attention. We are very much hoping that revenue from the sample gardens will enable us continue to the other faces of the project but this is at a small scale and the response we are getting shows that present interest and demand is out growing our resources and dreams of expansion. We therefore believe that funds would be that extra push that would enable us to expand and reach a wider community.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

At Green Cameroon, we always have brainstorming sessions where we look at problems in our community and try to propose solutions and project ideas. During that session, we were actually looking at the level of poverty and the high prices of foodstuff. Then we decided to do some thing but it had to be in line with the goals of our organization. Since Green Cameroon is very involved in the fight for environmental protection in general and the fight against climate change in particular, we therefore decided to think up a project that would tackle these problems. One thing we knew very well was that if we had to talk conservation to communities, there should be some encouragement from us that will attract the people’s attention. After lots of thinking, Forest Gardens are the solutions we see that can handle these problems and also help us reach our objectives and also bring benefits to communities through food sufficiency and better standards of living. Through this project, the communities are actually fighting to better their conditions and at the same time without any extra strain working towards the protection of the environment and fighting global warming.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

I am Masango S. Sone, founder/President of Green Cameroon. I am an environmentalist and part time computer science teacher. I also offer consultancy in renewable energy sources, health and environment and agroforestry. As hubby, I sing and play the guitar and for sports, I prefer basketball. I am one of those who believe that we do not need lots of money to be able to work for change in our community. I believe in team work, sharing of ideas, resources and have seen many projects that have had great impact without much finance. To me the most important asset a change maker needs is first of all the zeal to be of service to his community and determination. I believe that dreams should be shared for there are always people who think like us, that a project must not be internationally recognized for it to be called a good one and that every small activity carried out at the local level which helps the community in one way or the other is worth doing and that’s why I don’t wait for big funds to be able to do some thing for my community. Under my “Green Tech” project, I was one of the winners of the Global Knowledge Partnership’s scholarship award and attended the GK3 Conference I Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2007. Other projects carried out by Green Cameroon under my leadership include, the schools environmental clubs, capacity building on portable water accessibility, and the fuel efficient stoves. Our activities include tree planting, sensitization campaigns, river cleaning and urban sanitation. Presently I am working on setting up a medicinal plants garden that will involve looking at the possibilities of collecting, propagating and marketing of medicinal plants found in the Mount Cameroon Forest Region.

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