African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6578

Full Length Research Paper

Comparison of three modes of improving benefits to farmers within agroforestry product market chains in Cameroon

Facheux Charly1, Amos Gyau2*, Diane Russell3, Divine Foundjem-Tita2, Charlie Mbosso2, Steven Franzel2 and Zac Tchoundjeu2
1African Wildlife Foundation, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. 2World Agroforestry Centre, P.O Box 16317 Yaoundé, Cameroon. 3US Agency for International Development, Biodiversity team. USAID/EGAT/NRM/B, USA.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 06 March 2012
  •  Published: 30 April 2012

Abstract

Many organizations have tried to assist farmers in improving returns to forest and tree products but few have systematically tested interventions to improve post-harvest practices or marketing. This paper describes the results of three types of interventions in the market chains for njansang (Ricinodendron heudeloti) and kola (Cola spp), which are important agroforestry derived products for Cameroonian farmers. The interventions compared include group sales, facilitating a village-level stabilization fund to allow for off-season sales and provision of storage methods that allow for more profitable off-season sales. The interventions were compared based on their financial costs and benefits, the number of individuals benefiting, social costs and benefits and their sustainability. The results indicated that there are strengths and weaknesses associated with each of the three modes of interventions considered in this study. The modes are highly complementary; for example, the coupling of improved storage and guarantee funds help enhance farmers’ capacity to delay sales at harvest time until periods of scarcity when prices are higher. However, improved storage requires access to technology and guarantee funds require access to capital. Since group sales do not involve the use of new technology or credit facilities, they can serve a good starting point for helping groups achieve quick and meaningful gains, as a prelude to introducing other post-harvest and marketing interventions.

 

Key words: Farmer, non-timber forest products (NTFPs), marketing, costs and benefits (social, finance).