Easier. Cheaper. Healthier. More climate resilient. More earth-friendly. A food forest designed around quick growing, nutrient-rich moringa trees stabilizes and fertilizes the soil; stores water and provides shade for resilience during draught; provides a healthy habitat for bees and other beneficial insects; regenerates naturally; and yields a biodiverse supply of healthy fruits and vegetables. We will work with 4 women's groups in Oku to help them establish their own food forests.
More than half of the rural population is female, and since so few other occupations are open to them, more than twice as many women as men are engaged in agriculture as their primary occupation. They work from early morning to late at night to try to feed themselves and their families, and to market the surplus. They have inadequate tools and limited information about productive and sustainable farming techniques, and they struggle even to find the money for seeds for the next year's crops.
Rural women in Cameroon often organize into groups to support each other socially and economically. We will work with four women's groups in Oku, in which 138 women participate, to help them establish food forests. Our administrator will work with our local extension agent and an international volunteer (all 3 women) and with the women's groups, to integrate moringa with other locally hardy plants into self-sustaining forests and to learn how to nurture them and cook & market their output
Flourishing food forests require little maintenance for an annual harvest of healthy fruits and vegetable that will support the 138 women and their families for a lifetime. This pilot project will provide the basis for a scalable way to establish food forests throughout the North-west region of Cameroon.