Mechanized Farming- a step into Second Generation Agriculture for Smallholder Farmers

Farming in the North West Region is still one of hard human work and use of crude tools.

It is in this light that COMINSUD has taken a move to look into the situation for smallholder farmers in the Bamenda II Sub division through the enhancing of agricultural mechanization.

In a meeting which held on the 22nd of January, 2016 at COMINSUD hall, a number of 26 smallholder farmers were brought together to discuss strategies to enhance “second generation agriculture“.

Mr. Fon Nsoh, Coordinator of COMINSUD in his presentation, stressed on the need to modernize Cameroon’s agriculture so as to increase the productivity of smallholder farmers:

The use of advanced farming techniques and machinery to encourage the growth of second generation agriculture is very necessary. However, smallholder farmers must first of all organize themselves so as to take advantage of these modern farming inputs and enhance second generation agriculture.

Mr. Kombuwo Michael, Sub-Divisional Delegate of Agriculture for Bamenda II giving an expression of appreciation to COMINSUD for the meeting

Mr. Kombuwo Michael, Sub-Divisional Delegate of Agriculture for Bamenda II giving an expression of appreciation to COMINSUD for the meeting

Looking at Agricultural mechanization out of Cameroon, Maja Mueller of COMINSUD gave participants a full insight on mechanized farming in Germany. It is worth noting from her presentation that growth of mechanization of agriculture from the 1950s till date have involved structural changes, dramatic performance and yield increase, lower prices but a higher income.

In the words of a participant: “If Germany could get there, then we (Cameroon) can get there!”

Mr. Kombuwo Michael, Sub-Divisional Delegate of Agriculture for Bamenda II giving an expression of appreciation to COMINSUD for the meeting

Maja presenting the types of agricultural machines used in Germany presently

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Mr. Angwafor sharing on the type, specifications and use of the available tractor

Likewise, the excitement of the participants mounted upon the presentation of Mr. Tse Angwafor on the availability of a privately owned tractor at the service of the community in the Bamenda II Sub-division.

Given the comparison presentation between the use of human labour and a tractor, it was glaring that using a tractor is better in terms of performance and output.

Taking the case of some key elements of a one hectare maize farm (estimate):

.  Human Labour  . .  Tractor’s Labour  .
.  ploughing (time) 470 hours 2 hours
.  ploughing (cost) 240,000 frs 25,000 frs
.  yield (quantitiy)  . 1500 kg 2400 kg
.  yield (amount) 225,000 frs 360,000 frs

Conclusively, it was an interesting interactive meeting which served as an eye opener for farmers to shift away from their current traditional farming practices to mechanized farming come the next farming season- this February!!