Flowers and a Certificate Handed Out to a Pastoralism Scholarship Recipient

PRODEL ACADEMYREGULAR CAPACITY BUILDING

Aboubakar Arama has been issued a Master of science degree in Pastoralism in Niamey-Niger following a public defense of his dissertation and a graduation ceremony on the 19 of May 2020 as confirmed by this interview with PRODEL.
Understanding the Rationale of Pastoral infrastructure
June 7, 2020

Flowers and a Certificate Handed Out to a Pastoralism Scholarship Recipient

By June 7th, 2020 in Newsletter
PRODEL: What are the difficulties that we went through and the opportunities that you did seize during your training?Scholarship holder: The Master training programme in Pastoralism is a one-year course. This alternates a session of six months each, a theoretical stage in the classroom and a second phase devoted to research, and drafting of end of training dissertation in our home country. The six months that we spent in Niger were not easy, due to very uncomfortable climatic conditions (intense heat due to high temperatures), high living costs compared to Cameroon, unfamiliar eating habits, quite wide course schedule and intense pressure (a weeklong course per teaching unit including group work and week-end tests during the six months of theoretical training). This is not part of the traditional training in our schools. In addition, the training brings together international students with different backgrounds. This generates a significant cultural mix.
Despite the difficulties encountered, several opportunities were made available to students undergoing training in the said institution. These include access to the computer room with unlimited internet connection, availibility of one bookshop open from Monday to Saturday, and teaching staff.PRODEL : What is your dissertation topic?Scholarship holder : “Effects of Ranching on the Floristic and Pastoral Characteristics of Herbaceous Plants in the Adamawa region-Cameroon : Case of Ngaoundéré III and Belel municipalities ”

PRODEL: How do you intend to take advantage of this training to enhance pastoralism in Cameroon?

Scholarship holder :First of all, I would like to remind you that, according to what we saw, Cameroon has made very little progress compared to other countries that we visited during our training. These are some West African countries such as Niger, Benin, etc. Like these countries, ours has a considerable advantage in pastoralism. Unfortunately, very few studies have been conducted in this domain to raise awareness. Based on this situation, the term “pastoralism” still appears today as a new concept, while this type of farming has been practiced for years by organizations of livestock farmers on a great diversity of environment and zones, notoriously leading to food insecurity and the livelihood of millions of people in rural areas in Africa. It should be noted that in the Sudano-Sahelian areas in Africa, pastoral farming very often constitutes a first-rate economic value, i.e. from 40 to 60 of agricultural GDP. It is a factor of intense cross-border exchange thanks to mobility.

Nowadays, pastoralism is facing institutional and agro-ecological changes such as population growth, climate change, globalization of markets, changes in demand for animal products, and decentralization as well as security issues that are being upset contexts in which pastoral societies used to operate. The main axes which could contribute to the improvement of pastoral farming in Cameroon should be structured around the enhancement of governance (the development of the pastoral code), strengthening of the resilience of pastoral societies, strengthening of the economic viability of pastoral farming activities and strengthening of social viability for the populations living in pastoral zones. For this, we are ready to contribute to bringing concrete change, starting with strengthening governance and institutional support, completing the forecast fodder review and setting up a satellite monitoring system for these pastoral resources in real time.

PRODEL : What lessons do you learned from this experience ?

Scholarship holder : Cameroon has enormous potential in terms of pastoral development which must be exploited. Sahelian countries produce enough cattle and milk despite poor climatic conditions. This production is sometimes intended for export to coastal countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria etc. Cameroon should also boost its production to achieve food self-sufficiency and export surpluses. The staff, that have just completed their training in the AGRHYMET Regional Centre, have the necessary resources to meet the new issues and challenges facing pastoral farming. Cameroon, given its geographical location and conducive climatic conditions for the development of pastoral farming, could increase its investment in this domain, which remains both a health and environment-friendly mode of production. It has been the focus of the whole world.