African Pastoralists Share Experiences in Study Tour

Heads of cattle grazing in North Cameroon

Pastoralists from Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenyan have been sharing experiences with their Cameroonian counterparts on the better management of rangeland in a four day study tour of Cameroon.  Meeting at the Blue Pearl Hotel –Bamenda on Friday February 23, 2018, to debrief their field findings, the three participants from Tanzania and one each from Kenya and Nigeria and their Cameroonian counterparts, representing CSOs and pastoralists  shared experiences on innovative practices and tools to reduce land use conflicts between farmers and pastoralists in their communities.

Gidafana Gafufen representing CSOs from Tanzania

Qambanyasht Gidafana Gafufen, representing CSOs from Tanzania acknowledged that pastoralists across Africa face similar challenges and exchange tours like this provide them with workable solutions. “The first thing I am taking home from Cameroon is this Alliance-Farming which is very important…that creates a friendship of farmers demanding pastoralists to move into their areas and they also establishing infrastructures that will attract pastoralists…”  To him, this is so practical with beneficial effects on both sides, farmers gaining natural organic manure from animal] waste, producing natural and environmentally friendly produce and  better yields, while the pastoralist gain more grazing area, runs into less conflict and also improve on yields. Gidafana said he also learned from the Nigerian experience where the government has set aside exclusive grazing reserves.

Ibrahim Hassan Association of African Herders- Nigeria

Ibrahim Hassan from Nigeria and member of the Association of Traditional Herders in Africa also believes the Alliance-Farming project adopted by pastoralist and farmers in Northwest Cameroon could be a solution to the numerous herders-farmers deadly clashes in Nigeria.  Mr. Hassan also saluted efforts put in place by the government of Cameroon and pastoralist association like MBOSCUDA to create a peaceful environment for all to strive in.

Blasius Azuhnwi, one of the technical facilitator of the Study Tour, said Cameroon stands a lot to learn from the Tanzanian experience particularly in village land use planning which has been effectively used there to secure range lands.  “We’ve learned a lot from them, we’ve learn from their challenges, the steps they went through and see how we can make village use plans possible in our own region and country” he said.

Musa Ndamba, Vice President of MBOSCUDA, an association of indigenous herders in Cameroon welcome the Study Tour and saying the benefits will be extended to the entire country. Musa Ndamba said though Cameroon has more pastoral and suitable land for grazing, Cameroon still lacks behind countries like Kenya and Tazania where livestock is more advanced with these countries surpassing food self sufficiency  and exporting meat and milk to other counties. He believes that if these good practices elsewhere are implemented in Cameroon, it could go a long way in improving the sector and the economy of the country.

Fon Nsoh – COMINSUD Cameroon

The study tours are a continuous process of learning in the field around tried, tested and approved experiences, case studies and good practice, and in the course of it, train local actors who intend train others to share the experiences gained. It also aims to improve yields and the livelihoods of the pastoralists and the farmers through these good practices.

During the four day tour, the participants visited Mamada Hills in Banja village close to Bamenda, where they appreciated the various strategies used by various stakeholders