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

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

Why lack of farmer concern over soil erosion is hindering biophysical performance in Cameroon

Reports on and on-farm evaluation of hedgerow intercropping by the IRA/ ICRAF Programme in the lowlands of Cameroon, which has been in progress since 1988. Throughout the years the biophysical performance of the system was found to be inferior under farmer management on farm to that achieved on station. At the same time, farmers' interest in the technology was far below the expectations. This study tried to understand why farmers are hesitant to adopt the innovation and under which conditions the rotational hedgerow intercropping could be more attractive

Findings, conclusions and recommendations:

Farmer adoption has remained low. Based on continued monitoring of on-farm trials and a socioeconomic survey, three main reasons why farmers do not easily adopt the innovation were identified:

  • contrary to expectations, farmers indicated that land availability is not a problem and that they can acquire more land in the village if there is a need
  • in the lowlands of Cameroon, soil erosion is not a major concern of farmers
  • farmers in the study zone do not feel that soil fertility is a major problem and are thus hesitant to invest in fertility management

Farmers seem to be concerned about issues such as lack of marketing opportunities and shortage of cash to pay for health care and education, rather than the decline in soil fertility. However, recent experience with more flexible design and management of hedgerow intercropping and more targeted promotion of the technology has shown a growing interest of

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