As a way of keeping student busy given the recent paralyses of classes in the two English speaking regions of our country, the ERuDeF Institute decided to send us for field trips so we can gain hands-on experience.
I was dispatched to the Bafut Agro-complex and close to three months after, my perspective and mindset about entrepreneurship and agroforestry management have greatly changed. I have always seen anything linked to agriculture as dirty, and also regarded that becoming an entrepreneur was reserved for the rich but my mindset and perspective changed barely close to three months after this field trip.
I picked up skills in agroforestry that will make me an entrepreneur and relief me from poverty in the future. Even without an employer to offer me a job now or even in the future, I can start up something for myself just with a little capital that will be able to provide me with a daily income thanks to my stay with Mr. Shu Joram at the Agro Complex at Mambu in Bafut , Bamenda, North West Region.
Shu Joram is an amazing field guide and supervisor full of knowledge, passion and devotion for agroforestry. We visited the Chief of Post of Agriculture and some agroforestry farms. This led me to the first stage of the field work which was what I longed for, grafting. Here, we harvested scions and nursed the rootstalk, de-leafed the scion and sterilized alongside the grafting knives. After this, we grafted the scion to the rootstalk and protected the grafted area with grafting band; we took them to the giant propagator for incubation and then to a shade for acclimatization. This was a one of a kind experience because I could never imagine that more than one plant could grow on a single plant.
The next part of the trip was focused on marcotting on plum and mango trees which was a little scaring because of the height involved in it but at the end of it, I got over that fear. Then came terracing which required a lot of physical strength and was very tiring but it was a good experience.
The next was nursery establishment and management. I nursed, labeled and assembled plants in the nursery, watered them and weeded the nursery. This was great.
The last and most exciting part of the trip was propagator construction. Here we used plank boards, bamboos, nails, and plastic papers among others to build the giant propagator, plantain propagator and the non mist propagator. I have really learnt a lot which I can apply to become a great farmer thanks to the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Nonprofit Studies.