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Prospering peri-urban horticulture : Evidence from South-West Cameroon between 1995 and 2004

Parrot L., Kahane R., Nounamo L., Nantchouang A.. 2006. In : Batt Peter J. (ed.), Jayamangkala N. (ed.). Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Improving the Performance of Supply Chains in the Transitional Economies, Chiang Mai, Thailand, July 19 - 23, 2005. Louvain : ISHS [Belgique], p. 349-356. (Acta Horticulturae, 699). International Symposium on Improving the Performance of Supply Chains in the Transitional Economies. 1, 2005-07-19/2005-07-23, Chiang Mai (Thaïlande).

This paper focuses on agricultural activities and horticultural practices and their impact on the local development of a typical town in south-west Cameroon. The chosen town, Muea, is one of many in the South-West Province of the country where favourable weather and soil conditions promote agricultural production and regional trade with the neighbouring towns and Nigeria. A total of 26 food crops and cash crops were recorded in the economy of Muea, of which 13 are horticultural. Two censuses conducted in the town in 1995 and in 2004 have revealed that agricultural incomes have declined by one third during this period. It appears that more people are now focusing primarily on urban rather than farming activities. Farming is still practised by much of the population but as a secondary activity; farmers in Muea have diversified agricultural production into horticultural crops. Not only have horticultural practices spread among farmers but most farmers now derive ten times more income from horticulture in 2004 than in 1995. This increase in horticultural activity now provides over half the total income derived from all agricultural activities.

Mots-clés : horticulture; agriculture périurbaine; urbanisation; ménage; Étude de marché; agriculture intensive; agriculture urbaine; cameroun

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