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An assessment of farmer’s perception on the adoption of local species in the farming systems of the Sudano-Sahelian zone of Cameroon

Author: 
Asongwed-Awa, A., Megueni, C., Youmbi, E., Ko Awono, P. M. D. and Yiirta, T. B.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Low herbaceous cover is a major constraint to productivity in the farming systems of Sudano-Sahelian zones. The adoption of herbaceous species for the improvement of these farming systems has been quite low in the Sudano-Sahelian zone of Cameroon. In a survey that looked at the role of herbaceous species in the farming system, farmer perception of the potential use and importance of local herbaceous species was also evaluated. Famers identified most of the species encountered with well known local uses. When grouped according to local uses, 38% were used as forage, 21% for medicinal purposes and 11% for soil cover followed by human consumption, other uses, in that order. Arachis hypogaea and Hibiscus sabdarifa were ranked highest in terms of local use, followed by Senna obtusifolia, Sesbania rostrata and Crotalaria spectabilis. Factors that are liable to facilitate adoption of local species by farmers were plant performance and productivity, especially in associations with the main crop. Prior knowledge of a species and land ownership would seem to influence farmer adoption. Governments’ policy on land-use and management should be holistic, taking into account implementation of research initiatives. This will help in the improvement of productivity of farming systems and the maintenance of environmental equilibrium with the ultimate goal of poverty reduction and improved livelihoods.

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