Adoption potential of rotational hedgerow intercropping in the humid lowlands of Cameroon uri icon

abstract

  • Shifting cultivation in the humid lowlands of Cameroon has been associated with declining soil fertility resultingin low yields of food and tree crops. Agroforestry and improved fallow systems such as hedgerow intercropping canplay an important role in improving sustainable production on farmersâ?? fields. Between 1988 and 1993 theInternational Centre for Research in Agroforestry Humid Lowlands of West Africa Programme (ICRAF-HULWA) inCameroon evaluated the conventional hedgerow intercropping and, more recently (1994â??8), rotational hedgerowsystems. Farmer adoption has remained low. Based on continued monitoring of on-farm trials and a socioeconomicsurvey, three main reasons why farmers do not easily adopt the innovation were identified. Firstly, contrary toexpectations, farmers indicated that land availability is not a problem and that they can acquire more land in thevillage if there is a need. Secondly, in the lowlands of Cameroon, soil erosion is not a major concern of farmers.Thirdly, farmers in the study zone do not feel that soil fertility is a major problem and are thus hesitant to invest infertility management. Furthermore, farmers seem to be concerned about issues such as lack of marketing opportunitiesand shortage of cash to pay for health care and education, rather than the decline in soil fertility. However, recentexperience with more flexible design and management of hedgerow intercropping and more targeted promotion ofthe technology has shown a growing interest of farmers to plant tree fallows. Consequently, further research shouldfocus on diversification of the output of rotational hedgerow systems. The promotion of rotational hedgerow systemsshould target sites where farmers perceive land shortage and poor soils to be major problems

publication date

  • 2000