The Better World Inga project is a collaboration between Gaston Bityo Delor of Volunteers Serving Development (VSD), Cameroon and BWC in partnership with Rain Forest Savers.
Rain Forest Savers is an NGO based in Britain, that aims to work on projects whose objective is to relieve poverty amongst subsistence farmers in the humid tropics, and protect or improve the environment in rain forest or former rain forest areas in particular.
The Inga project is about establishing a network of farmers here who want to make a difference in the Agric system. We intend to provide them with seeds and seedlings showing them the alley cropping system as an alternative to slash and burn. This complements and supports our ongoing demonstration of Permaculture practices in the region.
Inga edulis has been successfully grown in Cameroon before, but not for alley cropping. It has however been used as a fallow crop which compared favorably with calliandra another nitrogen fixer, alley crop and potential forage tree.
Our joint aim is to improve the soil and lives of slash and burn farmers of the North West Region in Cameroon along with preserveing the rain forest. In April of 2015 Gaston Bityo provided us with our very first seedlings and trained some of our staff and local farmers on the correct techniques to use.
Now that these South American based trees are established and growing well at Ndanifor Permaculture Ecovillage, we eagerly wait for the first flowers to form and then produce seeds. Apparently the juicy pulp around the seeds is reported to taste like vanilla ice cream!
Once we have harvested the seeds, they will be distributed to local farmers. Our demonstration site will be the model showing how creating the alleys builds mulch and controls erosion on sloping land along with creating shade, retaining moisture and improving the soil.