Waning plantain yields in rural Cameroon hurt college attendance
en voilà une #étude_récente intéressante
From 1991 to 2011, as the region has grown drier and hotter, plantain yields in Cameroon have dropped by 43 percent — this despite a more than threefold increase in the area dedicated to growing the crop, researchers found. During the same period, the average duration of post-secondary school attendance decreased by six months — a decline the researchers said was “tightly linked” to the falling plantain yields.
The lost earnings from selling fewer crops accounted for this trend, the researchers reported recently in the journal Science of the Total Environment. The scientists examined detailed records of crop production, climate patterns and social and educational demographics across Cameroon to reach this conclusion.
Coffee, cacao and bananas are key exports. But according to the scientists, farmers in Cameroon would prefer not to grow cacao or coffee. These crops are heavily regulated by the government-run Cameroon Development Cooperation, which dictates the prices of crops sold to the U.S. and Europe.
“They don’t even eat chocolate, so they don’t want to grow cacao,” Njabo said. “You see why [they want to grow] plantain, bush mango and safou. Farmers like to produce crops they have a say on, Njabo says, and what their families can use and consume.
Researchers are working to identify plantain varieties that are resilient to climate change. New cultivars bred from tissue culture will create rural centers with “mother plantations” for villagers to collect offshoots to plant in their fields.