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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Cost and benefit analysis of sustainable soil management practices on potato farms in Nkong-Ni, Menoua division, grassfield western region of Cameroon

Herve Alain Napi Wouapi1, Herline Gaëlle Magne Seujip2

1University of Dschang, Rural Socioeconomics and Agricultural Extensions (SERVA its French acronym), Cameroon
2Higher Institute of Agriculture and Management of Obala, Rural economics


In this article we provide a critical analysis of the quality of potato (Solanum tuberosum) tubers in relation to the costs associated with their cultivation pratices. In particular, we analyse the costs and benefits of potato cultivation pratices and identify possible solutions to support potato farmers in engaging into sustainable soil management pratices in the Nkong-ni district of Menoua division, grassfield western region of Cameroon. The study was conducted from Febuary to june 2021 on a sample of 158 potato-based or diversified farms. Data collected through observations and surveys were processed and analysed using SPSS 20 and Excel 2007 software, and the FASA soil analysis laboratory. Potato has become an increasingly major crop given its importance in terms of nutrition, trade and income that aim to contribute to the well-being of the populations in the studied area and elsewhere. Our findings, however, reflect a contrast picture. We found current production patterns of potato tend to be moving away from sustainable farming practices. Potatoes are grown by men (62.86%) who displayed low level of education attainment and have learned potato planting techniques empirically with an average of 25 years of experience. On the farms surveyed, they were mostly acquired by renting (37.14%) and through donation (31.43%). The ‘’dosa’’ and ‘’desiré’’ cultivars (82.86%) were grown using mineral nitrogen fertilisers and pesticide intensively. A survey of potato yields showed farmers achieving an average of 14.6 t ha-1 with gross profit cumulating at XAF 676,793.34. The main problem faced by potato producers is the decline in yield associated with the negative externalities caused by pests. The analysis of soil samples evidenced an excess nitrogen content leading to both stunting and increased sensitivity of potatoes to diseases. Similarly, the nutrient retention capacity of the soils proved to be relatively low resulting in a decrease in the quality of potato tubers. This, coupled with low water availability and access, suggested seeking innovative strategies for optimising resource use and greening soil management pratices to sustainably improve supply of quality potatoes in Nkong-ni district.

Keywords: Assessing potato quality, environmental sustainability, grassfield of western region of Cameroon, soil management practices

Contact Address: Herve Alain Napi Wouapi, University of Dschang, Rural Socioeconomics and Agricultural Extensions (SERVA its French acronym), University of dschang main campus, FASA-UDS Dschang, Cameroon, e-mail: hwouapi@gmail.com

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