Native Authorities and Agricultural Diversification in Bamenda Province, British Southern Cameroons, After World War II
- Country : Cameroon
- Subject : History
The quest for raw materials and provision of food needs of imperialists led to the diversification of agricultural productivity in Africa during the colonial period. In this connection, the British colonial authorities in the Bamenda Province of Southern Cameroons introduced and encouraged the cultivation of new crops and this scheme was facilitated by Native Authorities. They managed local affairs in their administrative units and the agricultural sector was under their supervision. In order to effectively facilitate production and meet up with the agricultural needs of the British colonial authorities, these institutions provided high yielding seedlings and agricultural experts to local communities. These experts were charged with the responsibilities of training local farmers on modern methods and techniques of cultivation. Demonstration farms which did not only serve as practical training centres but also experimentation grounds were also established by Native Authorities. It was in these establishments (farms) that newly introduced crops were tested before being offered to farmers for cultivation. This was only possible when they proved favourable to local geographies and soils of the envisaged areas of cultivation. With these, they successfully diversified agricultural productivity in the Province and by 1961; the inhabitants had embraced not only cash crops but also fruit and food crops’ production wholeheartedly.