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Farmers, NGOs Warned Against Land Misuse 

By Chris Mbunwe

CameroonPostline — Land users in the Northwest have been warned that the Region is facing desertification due to poor agricultural land practices.

Speaking on June 17 in Bamenda during celebrations marking the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, the Secretary General at the Northwest Governor’s Office, Confiance Ebune, said land degradation affects about 1.5 million people world wide. The dangers of desertification, Ebune explained, threatens land security, access to water, food and human activities.

Emphasising the importance of commemorating the day to combat desertification and drought, the Northwest Regional Delegate of Environment and Nature Protection, Tansi Bambo Laban, said apart from creating awareness about this day, it comes along with strong messages from the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. Tansi blamed most farmers for land degradation with malpractices such as burning of the soil for fertility commonly called “ankara” that instead erodes soil fertility, leading to poor crop yields.

He called on stakeholders to go beyond commemorating the day by making good use of the Divisional Delegations of Environment, in order to benefit from services put at their disposal by government. “If we must preserve and protect our environment, we have to fight against poor agricultural practices and rampant bush burning and little replacement of environmental trees by forest exploiters,” Tansi said. 

He lauded efforts made by NGOs and some farmers in combating desertification and drought. He distributed T-shirts from his Ministry carrying messages on combating drought and desertification to the population that turned out at the esplanade of the new Regional Delegation of MINEPAT conference hall where the ceremony took place.

In a paper presentation on the theme of the day, the Divisional Delegate of Environment and Nature Protection for Momo, Peter Chia Ghong, cited overgrazing, irrigation, overdrafting, urban sprawl, land pollution, quarrying and industrial waste amongst others as key factors that cause land degradation in the Region. On land improvement as a remedy, Chia prescribed sustainable agriculture by restoring ecology and urban land improvement. This, to him, will reduce land tillage and encourage mixed cropping and agro-forestry.

First Published in The Post No 1353

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