GFAR blog

YAP proposal #403: Ecological Farming in the Bimbia Tropical Forest (Sylvia Mbongue Keji, Cameroon)

connecting pipe from catchment to project site 2I am Sylvia Mbongue Keji, a 35-year-old agripreneur/project leader writing on behalf of Unity Sister Rural Farmers Association (UNSIRFA). UNSIRFA is a 12-member, Common Initiative Group established in 2008 and situated in Bimbia, Limbe III, Fako Division, southwest region, in the republic of Cameroon.

UNSIRFA seek to establish a small ecological farm by interacting plant and small animals. This farm will be situated in Bimbia. It consists of a water supply unit, a nursery, growing of livestock (fowl, goats and pigs) and cultivation of fruits and food crops (vegetables, maize, fodders) all on the same parcel of land.

The UNSIRFA plans to start this agribusiness in a 1.5-hectare farmland with the construction of a water catchment upstream (potential difference ≥ 30 m above the project site, i.e. a considerable height to exert maximum pressure), put standby rotating taps and build a standard nursery (2 propagators, 4 m x 6 m nursery sheds).

We shall also build three separate 6 m x 12 m elevated-fence structure—to confine livestock, while cultivating food crops on the section of the land (≥ 9,000 m²).

100 chickens (bowlers), 6 piglets and 6 small goats, i.e. 2 males, 4 female are put on their separate section of the livestock house.

The nursery multiply and supply seeds and seedlings (plum, orange, mango, bitter cola, pear, eru, apple, yams) use on the farm and excess sold at the Limbe main market.

UNSIRFA hope to achieve this through a participatory approach involving stakeholders (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and animal husbandry, Limbe, Heifers International, ICRAF—Yaoundé, Midhill CIG, GFAR and CGIAR). We shall organize training to scale-up our activities.

This project has a huge environmental, social and economic impact in our society. First, it saves the Bimbia tropical rainforest—a cultural heritage site (set for ecotourism and REDD+ projects)—from destruction by scaling down burning and shifting cultivation in search for fertile soil, and stop expansion of farms for profitability.

The constant sales of produce to Limbe increase cash flow in the Bimbia community. This project unites and brings joy to the Bimbia society, by uniting farmers, and resolve peacefully.

Growth and sustainability here are of high category, with greater result expected overtime. The fowls, pigs and goats shall grow, breed, and their offspring’s sold or use to open new farms.

Livestock waste are use to fertilize crops. Harvest of food crops are sold, consume or use as feed for the livestock.

The catchment provides steady supply of water throughout the year for the nursery, livestock and the growing of food crop. Harvesting is irrespective of dry or wet season. Income derive from the Sales of farm produce are use for farm maintenance and by UNSIRFA group.

UNSIRFA have acquired a 1.5-hectare farm from Bimbia Traditional Council. 33m north of the project site, a 4 cm high brick water catchment will be constructed. With a timber exploitation permit, UNSIRFA will saw and transport timbers (500 lad, 300 1 x 12 boards, 140 3 x 3 pining poles) from 2 falling trees in the Bimbia forest.

Thereafter, we shall hire 4 technicians to raise the various structures. Over 500 seedlings of plumbs; pear and oranges of very good species are collected from nearby farms -propagated and planted along the entire farm boundaries for and equidistance of 5m.

Project structural model - nursery

On the farm, UNSIRFA shall clear with help of weed killer (round-up) and plant maize, yams, vegetables (okro,) in a rotating and organic manner (no burning, residue allow to decay naturally).see attachment 1.

The huge income or profit generated, job creation, fast returns, ease of implementation, eco friendly, organic recycle of waste, less labor and farm input are components which motivates us in this projects.

The project creates employment for carpenters’, chainsaw operators, builders and UNSIRFA. The profits generated are shared to UNSIRFA members.

The nutrition level in the community will increase, as this project will supply the much needed meat.

This project will also create jobs for middlemen traders who will buy the farm produce and sell in the nearby urban town of Limbe in a good and profitable price.

UNSIRFA have received training, acquire a 1.5-ha farm land, and built the nursery through the help of ICRAF and the ministry of agriculture. Install pipes to supply water. See attachment 2 and 3.

The measurable successes are: income level of the families, no. of farmers that will copy this crop-livestock farming, the population of pigs and goats in Bimbia, the no. of jobs created. Analyzing data’s collected before and 1-year of project implementation will measure the success.

The USD 5,000 GFAR funds will be use to achieve the remaining objectives

  1. Construct a water supply unit (water catchment and storage unit) – 1 months
  • Digging and building of water catchments with bricks, Purchase of a diesel water pump = USD 220
  • Building of water storage tank (Purchase 12 m pipes,500-litre drum, hiring of welder, etc.) = USD 230
  • Transportation of material to the project site = USD 50
  • Planting of tress in water catchment areas = USD 100
  1. Build and stocking a three 6m x 10m house for fowl, goat and pigs. 2 months
  • Sawing of timber (petrol, hiring of chainsaw operator) = USD 800
  • Transportation of timber from the forest to project site= USD 500
  • Purchase of nails, nets, roofing sheets, hiring of carpenter= USD 600
  • Purchase of100 young chicken, 6 goats, 5 pigs = USD 400
  • Feeds for the livestock and medicals = USD 380
  • Purchase project equipment (knife, watering can, polythene bags, etc) =$300
  1. Cultivation of maize, okro, yams, and preservation and marketing of farm produce. 3 months
  • Clearing, digging, spraying and planting of fruit trees, maize, okro and yams =USD 200
  • Construction of farm storage facility = USD 200
  • Purchase of a refrigerator for process meat to be sold= USD 250
  • Transportation of harvest       (purchase of 3 trucks)= USD 100
  1. Organize a training/workshop on livestock-crop farming and follow-up of GFAR and GCARD3 upcoming workshop. 1 week
  • Purchase of workshop materials (stationeries, books, pen pencils) = USD 100
  • Stipend to 100 participants (feeding, resource persons, transport) = USD 500
  • Hiring of hall and chairs = USD 50
  • Stipend to Bimbia tradition ruler for( libation, tradition sacrifice )= USD 30


Blogpost and picture submitted by Sylvia Mbongue Keji (Cameroon): unsirfabimbia[at]

The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #403 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

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Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!

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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

1 thought on “YAP proposal #403: Ecological Farming in the Bimbia Tropical Forest (Sylvia Mbongue Keji, Cameroon)”

  1. I am impress to see such an initiative from young and talented people in our division

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