Agriculture improves the socio-economic life of not only a woman but family and community as a whole. This is the basis on which Bridgers Association Cameroon insist and encourages sustainable agricultural practices while considering the environment.
In the agriculture domain Bridgers is engaged in training women and women groups through the establishment of community farms which serve as practical illustrations on the usage of organic manure to improve the output of their subsistence farming produce.
We do well to encourage these women to increase their produce to not just serve as food in their home but as a means of bringing in income for other expenses to better their livelihoods. Some of the crops they are specialized in would include: tomatoes cucumber plantains, beans, maize, ndjinger, which products which last for a short term before harvest.
According to the FAO, although it is difficult to give an accurate assessment of women’s contributions to agriculture, due to the lack of statistics, it is estimated that rural women supply about 90% of the food needed for the subsistence of the population in Cameroon.
However, poverty still lingers as these women always face a great financial need especially sending their children to school. As such we strife to solve this problem by organizing them to pull their small financial resources together through savings on a weekly basis from where they can borrow at a 1% interest rate free of procedures and a lot of paper work like the case in financial establishments. This gives them a relief as access to loans especially for rural women in banks is a nightmare due to lack of collateral.
Non-Timber Forest Products
For a long run purpose, Bridgers is further introducing women in to the cultivation of non-timber forest products (NTFP) which are condiments and medicinal plants. These would greatly improve on the woman’s income though at the long run as these products are in high demand both locally and internationally. We hope to get maximum impact since we are engaging seed multiplication experts and organizations for the best improved species. This initiative is worth while as it safeguards the environment owing to the fact that these products would grow up as trees. Still for the safety of the environment we also discourage the burning of the forests and bush fires through capacity building within rural communities.
Animal and Poultry Farming
Animal farming is one of the most cherished forms of farming Bridgers is out to promote and introduce women into. We donate high yielding species of pigs to beneficiaries to boost up their income from the sales of piglets which are often great in number per one delivery by a mother pig as a result of the special breed of pigs we donate. The donations are preceded by a training phase during which resource persons drill them on the best techniques involved in pig farming with the use of locally produced feed and fences which are cost effective.
Similarly, Bridgers takes interest in encouraging, educating/training and donating chicks to rural women to raise their standards of living, these fowls don’t only fetch income but serve as a source of protein in their homes. Through experts we drill women on the elements of rich feed for fowls which is lower in cost with usage local food stuff.