CAMEROON - Jesuit Fathers develop training projects

Douala - The Jesuit Fathers promote both micro-entrepreneurship projects and also save banana trees from extinction. This is the project launched in Douala capital jesuit reproduction bananaeconomic by the Cameroon Jesuits. An initiative that has a double value, educational and naturalistic, in a context not as simple as that of the African country.

Fides Agency is carrying out these interesting projects in Cameroon where more than three million boys and girls have not reached the minimum level of schooling. 70% of girls are illiterate.

This phenomenon is particularly visible in the northern regions, where more than one million girls between the ages of 10 and 19 cannot read or write (31.9% of girls in the region).

To cope with this situation, the West African Jesuit development office is working to impart agricultural techniques to these young people that will be useful both now and in the near future as a basis for building micro-entrepreneurial projects.

The Jesuit Fathers have thus organised a course to cultivate banana trees using the Pif method, i.e. growing plants from stem fragments. This is a very efficient system of banana propagation that has been developed for years using the grafting technique.

This technique has the advantage that it can be performed by local producers who use plant materials to which they have easy access at low cost. The yield is excellent. It is possible to produce between 10 and 30 plants from a single stalk. The resulting bananas are strong, healthy plants.

The Jesuit course was divided into two sessions. The first was devoted to theory. The second part was devoted to the germination of the seedlings. Germination can be done in special germinators or in easily available containers, such as the baskets used by ordinary people. Some students have already started to put into practice what they have learnt.

"This new technique," explains Robert, one of the students, "is simple, cheap and quick. I have a small plot of land and plan to plant at least four thousand seedlings. If my project is successful, it could become a good business for me".

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