A scientific lecture on making rural advisory services more climate smart has been organized by the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation. The lecture which was held to mark the ‘Month of Research’ recently took place in the conference hall of the ministry in Yaounde. It was presided over by the Secretary General in the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation, Rebecca Madeleine Ebelle Etame, while Dr Ann Degrande, a senior research scientist and Resident Representative of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF – International Agricultural Research Institute) presented the lecture. Her lecture focused on the essential role played by rural advisory systems in reducing poverty and hunger.
Dr Ann underscored the fact that agriculture in Cameroon and other parts of Africa faces many challenges, but said the problems could be overcome using the Rural Resource Centre (RRC) module. She noted that RRCs use a bottom-up approach, providing knowledge and skills about agroecology to farmers and their communities, and enabling them to improve their living conditions and productivity. This, Dr Ann said, could address food insecurity, extreme poverty and malnutrition and social inequality, through capacity building in affordable and appropriate approaches in smallholder/subsistence farmer communities, using low technologies based on agroecological approaches together with income generation.
RRCs use a holistic and integrated approach to rural development and diversify farming systems with culturally important indigenous food tree species. In Cameroon, ICRAF and local partners have helped communities to open 10 RRCs, hosting 150 nurseries and serving over 10,000 households.