From Food Insecurity to Climate-Smart Agriculture: An Interview with Okon Archibong Ukeme

Okon Archibong Ukeme is passionate about food security and sustainable agriculture. Some I’ve even heard call them “eco-sustainable gardens”. So this led him and project partner Nadia Ndum Foy to win the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) Young Earth Solutions (YES!) Research Grant Competition in 2015.
Their project, Eco-Sustainable Gardens: Empowering Minority Women, addresses food insecurity among Mbororo women in Cameroon. Eco-Sustainable Gardens works with minority women to establish gardens for household consumption and income generation. In addition, they encouraging gardening practices with a low ecological footprint. Plus creating a line of monies for themselves

project eco-sustainable gardens empowering minority

Food Tank had the opportunity to talk with Ukeme and discuss his Eco-Sustainable Gardens project and his thoughts on minority group access to food, maintaining healthy soils, and climate-smart agriculture.

Food Tank (FT): Congratulations on your project Eco-Sustainable Gardens: Empowering Minority Women winning the BCFN YES! Competition in 2015. Could you tell us about the project?

Okon Archibong Ukeme (OAU): Ebile Pride, a member of PROTUS e.V. (Association for the Promotion of Teaching and Research for the Tropics and Subtropics at the University of Hohenheim e.V.), came up with the idea for the Eco-Sustainable Gardens project. The project’s goal is to improve food security and nutrition in Mbororo households in Cameroon’s northeastern region. It was designed to improve physical and economic access to nutritious food through gardening and facilitating access to markets.

In conclusion, Mbororo are traditionally a cattle breeding tribe. The people benefiting from the Eco-Sustainable Gardens. Therefore, Mbororo women who experience economic difficulties and possible food shortages during periods of transhumance.  This is at time when the Mbororo men migrate with their cattle to areas with better access to pasture. Mbororo women depend on their husbands economically.  Hence, a situation made worse by the fact that they are not traditionally involved in crop production.  So that hurts women because they do not have self-produced stock to fall back on.

For the entire story on Foodtank.

Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.