Kimengsi et al
Greener Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 6 (1), pp. 001-010, January 2016
ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2016 GJSS
Manuscript Number: 051815073
Improving Cocoa Processing and Marketing for Conservation in the Mount Cameroon National Park Communities: Challenges and Way Forward
Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi*, Balgah Roland Azibo** and Joseph Tosam Ngong***
*Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, Catholic University of Cameroon (CATUC), Box 782 Bamenda, Cameroon.
**College of Technology, University of Bamenda, Box 39 Bambili.
*** Department of Economics, University of Bamenda, Box 29 Bambili.
Although the cocoa sector has a long standing history as a key income generating activity (IGA) that contribute to the improvement of the livelihoods of communities within the Mount Cameroon National Park (MCNP), it is faced with a number of challenges especially with respect to processing (fermentation and drying) and marketing. These stand as a constraint to conservation (increased wood usage and low incomes). Using focus group discussions (FGDs) within 10 farmer field schools (FFS) consisting of ten participants each (7 male 3 female), we assessed the current processing and marketing situation within the MCNP and their implications for conservation, identified key areas of intervention to improve on cocoa fermentation, drying, marketing and cooperative formation, including training and certification. In addition, we assessed the challenges involved in improving the cocoa sector by enhancing the adoption of modern methods of processing and marketing to guarantee conservation within the MCNP. We established that a majority of the farmers in the MCNP make use of local methods of cocoa fermentation and drying. Furthermore, more than 80% of the farmers depend on the informal marketing while less than 20% of the cocoa farming populations have successfully gone through training and certification at FFS, and approximately 20-30% of the farmers are affiliated to cooperatives. The study recommended a number of interventions at the level of cocoa fermentation and drying, the elimination of the informal market chain, the intensification and harmonization of training and certification programs, and the institution of possible synergies.
Key words: Cocoa Processing, Marketing, IGAs, MCNP, Conservation, Challenges, Synergy.
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