Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Green Farmlands is currently running its 1st training phase on Plantain and Banana Vegetative Propagation in Efah, Batibo North West Region of Cameroon. This is with respect to an expressed by farmers who face the challenge of their plantains and banana not growing to maturity and they have to plant many suckers to ensure survival of a few. With vegetative propagation, from a single plantain or banana sucker, 15 plantlets can be produced. In Cameroon a sucker of plantain cost 500FCFA (approximately $1). This is much money for small holder farmers to afford if they have to plant a hectare of plantain. However with the vegetative propagation method, 15 plantlets can be gotten from one plantain sucker; a method which is highly economical and affordable. The excessive use of fertilizer leading to soil depletion, regression in food productivity and water pollution underscores the importance of sustainability to safeguard both environmental and human health. Green Farmlands advocates for agricultural practices that minimize the use of inorganic fertilizers and encourage farmers on the adoption of environmental and health friendly practices. We also organize farm visits with farmers to inspect the progress of their crops to ensure they are growing as expected. Upon harvest farmers are expected to sell and give us feed back on their ease or difficulty to attract better prices for their produce.
Sustainability and future plans
At Green Farmlands, our work involves listening to farmers as they express their needs and challenges. Through strategic partnership with experts who have knowledge on such challenges, we design solutions to tackle these challenges. With the creation of the Trans-African highway network project which is expected to influence trade across Africa a great deal, we see a potential for increase demand for farm produce. This Trans-African Highway route which happens to pass through Batibo presents and opportunity for farmers to take advantage of the demand created and increase their yield to meet up. However this cannot be achieved if farmers still hold on to archaic farming methods which in recent years have proven to be susceptible to climate change and variability hence the need to support the farmers to increase their yield through the adoption of new adaptable farm practices. Our potential sources of financing are through funding, grant schemes and sponsorship from international organisations and local government. For example the government of Cameroon sites agriculture as one of the measures to attain emergence in 2035 and is therefore putting support schemes to boost this sector. We plan to leverage the resources and networks put place by the government to attain our objectives. By the end of the 1st year, we hope to have increased farmers yield by 30% and have expanded into other crops such as cassava, tomatoes, pepper etc. By the end of the 3rd year with increased yield, there will be a need for food processing to increase product shelf life. With this, we hope to attract better and markets and be experiencing a 40% increase in farmers household income. By the 5th year we would have had the farmers population and suitable output to venture into international markets.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Atim Mbah Patience is a 30 years old female who hails from the North West region of Cameroon. Born to a family of 8, she had to join her mother to the farm to support the family. Although they farmed entirely for house consumption, she understands the struggles and challenges of small scale farmers who cultivate for subsistence. Atims work on agriculture began in 2011 when she became one of the founding members of Agro-Hub. In 2012 was selected among the 28 Africa under 25 most prominent outstanding women by the MILEAD Fellowship in Ghana. She has been shortlisted for a series of nomination such as World Summit Youth Award in 2013 and YoBloCo(Youths In Agriculture Blogging Competition) Award in 2014. In 2014 under the umbrella of the YWCA, she was a representative for Youths in Agriculture at the African Union Pre-Summit consultative meeting, Addis Ababa Ethiopia. In the same year she was part of the Social Media Reporter team at the International Conference on Finance for Agriculture Value-Chain, by CTA and AFRACA, at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Nairobi Kenya. And in 2015 she was an observer at the African Development Bank Group 2015 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors - Abidjan, Republic of Côte dIvoire. In 2014 she decided to return to school and take on a Masters in International Trade and Supply Chain Management. Today being a Supply Chain Analyst she plans to streamline the Cameroon agricultural value chain and believes just like every other value chain, the supplier is just as important hence her motive for working with small scale farmers who account for up to 90% of the food produce required for the subsistence of the entire population of her country Cameroon.