Through his journey, Mr Mortreau described Saveurs & Nature's project at the village of Bandoum. A small village, with desire for change, wished to preserve our planet and, in the meantime, continue to grow cocoa.
* See pictures (from left to right), Marie, Jean-Michel, Elisabeth, Louisette, Sonia
First of all, our project would consist in convert these cocoa farmers to organic farming for 2 reasons:
- Stop polluting this nature
- Provide an income to families, for their health, their education, the transfer of their know-how.
For all this would be mandatory in the village a cooperative, technical help, financial help during the conversion time (3 years). The villagers were motivated. They told me they wanted to try organic farming at any cost. “It is time to change all this for our children” said Elisabeth.
“It is time to change all this for our children”
Elisabeth Kaffou was the president of the cooperative « Bio-Clair ». She owned a property of about 1,000 cocoa trees. At her small village scale, she would play an important role to ensure follow-up to our conversion program. There would be monitoring the construction of the fermentation shed and construction of the drying tunnel. She would be assisted by the two agricultural engineers that we would also hire, Sonia and Dora Kamseu from AFDYDD association (Association of Dynamic Women for Sustainable Development). They had already helped in projects in which women were the managers. After all, women were the ones who daily worked in the fields…
" Women are the ones who daily work in the fields…"
My 1st meeting at the village started therefore by a speech written by Elisabeth to welcome me and showed me that the cooperative counted on Saveurs & Nature’s team to help them go through this conversion period. Elisabeth introduced each cocoa farmer and everyone spoke about their land, the number of cocoa trees he owned, his production. Each one also talked about its concerns, in particular their fear of yield loss when becoming organic. Sonia and Dora precisely prepared a training on organic fertilisers and in particular fertilizing trees.
My 1st task towards conversion would thus be, with the help of the Association AFDYDD, to plant fertile trees from the Albizia’s species. These trees had fertilizing, irrigating functions and were also repulsive for some insects.
“Nature can do it all!”
Saveurs et Nature financed these seedlings in agroforestry to replace the purchase of chemical fertilizers and fungicide treatments in cocoa tree plantations in conversion to organic production. Cocoa farmers were proud and eager to get engaged in this new adventure. And 4th July 2019 would remain an important date on the agenda of Bandoum, of AFDYDD Association and Saveurs et Nature, because it was the day when the first seedlings of fertile trees had been planted in the plantations. We would only know about their efficiency within 3 to 5 years!
In the village of Bandoum, the Ekanidoum association already enabled the construction of the nursery school. It was one of the few big buildings in the village, after the “Chefferie” (chieftain’s building) and the health center. During my journey, I had the opportunity to participate to the school’s party at the end of June. The little kids spoke very well: they recited poems, they sang and danced...They had already have the beat…!
After the award ceremony, the party ended with the Cameroonian anthem and a photo session with the lady teacher and Euphrasie. We had a meeting with the Ekanidoum association during the month of July 2019 : the nursery school was in desperate need of an extension. It turned out that they had 2 lady teachers in the village. At Saveurs et Nature, we decided therefore with no hesitation to fund a new class.
Work would start at the beginning of August and we would be operational as soon as the school year started in September!