Farmer Innovation Contest: Cameroon

Farmer innovation contests in Cameroon were organized in the divisions of Fako, Mifi and Vina with the help of scientists from IRAD. Local farmers sent in a total of 193 applications, 162 of which were deemed eligible innovations for the contest.

The winners received prizes equivalent to 500,000 FCFA (1000 USD), 300,000 FCFA (600 USD) and 200,000 FCFA (400 USD) for first, second and third place, respectively (Picture 1). The winning innovations were primarily innovations related to processing and post-harvest management (33%), crop production and protection (26%), animal production and health (15%), followed by mechanization (6%).

Picture 1: some of the prizes received by the farmer innovators of Cameroon

Innovator showcase

MBEZAN NEIGHA OSEE NICOLAS – Best youth Innovator, Fako Division

Innovation: Use of snail as main ingredients for soap production

VICJES-Beauty soap (Picture 2) is a snail and other agricultural products-based soap produced by Mr. Mbezan Neigha Osee Nicolas for the treatment of stretch marks, ring worm, pimples and bad skin odor. He came up with this innovation while he was helping his wife to find locally made soap solution for her skin (stretch marks) and hair.

Nicolas makes the VICJES-Beauty soap with a mixture of aloe-vera, felere for coloring, carrot, green calaba chalk, snail slime and grinded shell, red oil, tomato, perfume, and colour. He produces the soap in cool conditions such as to preserve the natural virtues of the agricultural ingredients.

Picture 2: Snail and agricultural product-based soap produced by Nicholas

HALIMATOU M. Spouse ADJIA – Best female Innovator, Vina division

Innovation: Processing of yam into gari

This innovation aims at reducing post-harvest loss of yams in glut periods, reducing food insecurity, and increasing yam processors’ incomes. Mrs. Halimatou was concerned with reducing post-harvest losses of yam, and was inspired by the way cassava is processed into gari (a local type of flour) and tapioca for conservation.

To produce the yam gari or tapioca (Picture 3), Mrs. Halimatou peels yams, washes and boils them in a mixture of water and palm oil. Once the yams are cooked, they are grated and spread on zinc for drying under sunlight for about three hours, depending on the intensity of sunlight. Next, the sun-dried flour is reheated in a saucepan on the fire for ten to fifteen minutes and exposed again to open air for the flour to cool down and dry completely. The dried flour is then stored in an airtight container and used as gari. This yam gari can be conserved for up to six months.

Picture 3: Yam gari on display in Mrs. Halimatou’s shop

Dankou Lucas (Gic Dalucam) – Best Male Innovator, Mifi Division

Innovation: Multi-power sourced Incubator

The multi-power sourced incubator (picture 4) made by Mr. Dankou can function either with kerosene, electricity, gas or charcoal as power sources. It can be used by poultry farmers both in electrified and non-electrified rural and urban areas for the incubation of up to 200 eggs.

Mr. Dankou created this incubator to facilitate the use of modern incubators for poultry farmers under all power source conditions. The incubator is equipped with a flame filter that enables the use of kerosene, gas, and charcoal for heating, and with a digital temperature and moisture regulator that makes controlling the temperature and moisture possible.

Picture 4: The incubator
Picture 5: the eggs hatching in the incubator