August 18, 2016:

If you are a lover of bush mango (Ogbono), bush pepper, bebe, njansang, then you must know that the South West Region of Cameroon is endowed with these Non-Timber-Forest Products, especially areas around Korup and Takamanda National Parks.

In Takamanda National Park area, the village of Takamanda is reputed for the collection and sale of bush mango and other NTFPs.

Frida Monabang, an inhabitant of Takamanda is a bush mango collector who is part of her village collector group. She, like every member of her group collects, splits and sells bush mango to Village Buying Agents (VBAs) from FREPROM.

“I find it valuable and profitable to sell my bush mango to VBAs rather than to Nigerian buyers” says Frida.

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In fact, since the introduction of PSMNR-SWR NTFP commercialisation strategy, community members involved in the collection and sale of bush mango have seen the benefit of working as a group. Prices and measurements are determined by FREPROM, protecting community members from exploitative buyers from Nigeria.

That is not all; community members no longer keep their products for a long time waiting for buyers. This is because revolving funds are made available by PSMNR-SWR to FREPROM’s Village Buying Agents to purchase bush mango from various market sectors around KNP and TNP.

NTFP stakeholders from these communities are equally sensitized on their rights and bonuses are recorded for collectors who sell their products to VBAs. These bonuses are paid at the end of each marketing season.

“There is gain in this manner of selling bush mango. Even the bonus we receive at the end of the marketing season is very important. For example, I received my bonus today and this has filled me with so much joy. I had no money, so when the VBA brought my bonus, I hugged him and said Papa God you are alive” Frida explains.

Frida Monabang’s primary source of income is from the sale of bush mango though she does mixed farming for subsistence.

It is therefore not an exaggeration to say that the NTFP commercialization strategy put in place by PSMNR-SWR in collaboration with FREPROM is truly changing lives. The impact might not be glaring right now but Frida Monabang makes it obvious that things are getting better.