Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 389

Full Length Research Paper

Harnessing renewable natural resources towards food security and sustainable rural development in a rich agricultural resource-base community in Cameroon

Eleno Manka’a Fube
  • Eleno Manka’a Fube
  • Yaounde, University of Yaounde I, Cameroon.
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  •  Received: 20 July 2015
  •  Accepted: 21 August 2015
  •  Published: 30 September 2015

Abstract

Many renewable resources the world over are increasingly becoming non-renewable owing to massive and/or abusive exploitation, and little conservation. There is growing quest to conserve resources and switch to dependence on renewable resources. World summits on environment recommend sustainable use of resources to guarantee sustainable development. How sustainably these resources are being used and the extent to which their usage brings about sustainable development especially in rural communities remains a debatable issue. Cameroon’s rural milieu teems with abundant renewable resources which have lain idle, been under exploited and/or wantonly exploited for any sustainable economic growth and development of the areas. This paper examines goat and natural pasture as abundant renewable resources, the widespread involvement of the rural population in exploiting these resources in contrast with the low level of exploitation. The inherent potentials of these resources in guaranteeing food security and sustainable development of rural areas, and government neglect of small ruminant livestock production are assessed. The basic assumption is that the attention paid goat culture by farmers, government and research institutions is incommensurate to the available potentials for a profitable large-scale commercial agricultural activity. Primary and secondary sources were invaluable in providing data for analysis. Key findings depict that goats are valuable assets providing flexible financial reserves for poor rural farmers during periods of economic stress; a buffer against crop failure; and a source of cash income enabling farmers meet various needs. Despite its multifarious functions, very little progress has been made in utilising the available resources efficiently towards improving commercial productivity; nutritional level and general living standards of rural population. This paper suggests that these abundant renewable resources could be harnessed to increase food productivity and security; the economic status of rural population and boost their contribution to economic development.

Key words: Renewable resource, food security, traditional management systems, cash income, sustainable rural development, Donga Mantung.