Babessi, Cameroon-While statistics from the World Food Programme(WFP) say 214 million people in sub-Saharan Africa suffered from hunger between 1990 and 2012, 17 year old, Kunde Raymond, winner of Rural Eco-competition for secondary schools in Cameroon, thinks there should be no hunger.
|The yieds from the farms this year are proving to be good, three months before harvesting begins|
Although climate change and floods have been affecting farmers in Cameroon in several different ways in recent times, current country statistics tell us the Agriculture sector still provides 42 percent of the country's GDP. Reason why Raymond is quite positive about food security. In his article about agriculture in Babessi, the teenager is optimist hunger should not have a place in his area because the yields have been good for the past few years. No to hunger, yes, because temperatures have fairly been constant (averaging between 26°C-30°C) and with heavy, regular rains.
Raymond explains why there should be no hunger, he writes
Should we be hungry?
Agriculture is the backbone of Cameroon’s economy. The case is not different in Babessi where about 80% of the population depends on agriculture.
The month of March which marks the start of the rainy season is a very serious month in Babessi. People start preparing their farms by clearing, burning and tilling. This begins from December, right up to the month of March. This is because cultivation is mostly subsistence.
Immediately as it rains, in March, the people start planting at once, beginning with maize, followed by beans, and then groundnuts for those who wish.
After about five months that is; in August, harvesting begins, after weeding about two times in the previous months.
For the past years, the yields have been very encouraging. This is due to some factors such as, Babessi is found in a moist swampy area good for land cultivation of rice, maize and cocoyam. Also, the village is situated at the base of the Banso (Bui Division) hill, which makes it conducive for groundnut and yams. Equally, eroded rocky materials from hills make the plane a perfect land to farm.
Kunde Raymond is a Form 5 student at Government Bilingual High school, Babessi.