Capitalization of Local Agricultural Knowledge in the Fight against Soil Degradation: Experiences with Farmers of Bapa and Bamendjo in West Cameroon


  • Amavi de fer Anougué Tialefack Ph.D. student, Department of Rural Socio-Economy and Agricultural Extension, University of Dschang, Cameroon
  • Nobert Tohnain Lengha Lecturer, Department of Rural Socio-Economy and Agricultural Extension, University of Dschang, Cameroon
  • Emile Temgoua Head of department, Department of Soil Sciences, University of Dschang, Cameroon


Local knowledge, Soil, Peasant, Organic fertilizers, Rural, Degradation


Given the degradation of soils observed mainly by the decline in fertility, the use of agricultural techniques and practices based on organic inputs appears to be a healthy alternative. This study focused on the capitalization of local agricultural knowledge in the fight against soil degradation. The objective was to show the importance of taking peasant knowledge into account in the process of popularizing sustainable agricultural practices to combat soil degradation. We have indeed conducted observations with farmers in the villages of Bamendjo in the Bamboutos and Bapa in the highlands of the West Cameroon region. The study focused on a sample of 419 producers, identified through contacts and to whom we submitted questionnaires to all and interviews to 37 of them. The other source of data was obtained from desk research. These data were analysed and tested using flat sorts, cross sorts and Pearson correlations. We carried out a descriptive analysis presenting the results of the collection in a rough way and we used the Pearson correlation to cross the variables and test their homogeneity. A third source of data was obtained from the results of laboratory analyses, comparing soil samples taken between 0-20cm, 20-40cm and 40-60cm in two fields (1) and (2) exploited with techniques and different cultivation practices, one conventionally (1) and the other organically (2). The main results enabled us to retain the various indicators that show the contribution of peasant knowledge to sustainable soil management. More than 65% of the producers met had to develop knowledge enabling them to better develop their agricultural activities while contributing to the preservation of the soil. The results of the soil analyses showed through the proportions of certain properties, in particular Ca, CEC including the heavy metal content that the farm (2) has a higher level of fertility than that of the farm (1).

This proves that organic fertilizers increase the sustainability of soils over the long term. This study will focus more on traditional knowledge that seems better suited to local ecosystems. To this end, we recommend that the various public and private development actors set up agricultural extension programs and systems that take into account peasant knowledge.


. Dounias, E., 2015, ‘‘Des savoirs locaux revisités. Changement climatique : quels défis pour le sud ?’’, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Marseille 2015.

. Sambo, A. (2014). ‘‘Vulgarisation des savoirs locaux agricoles comme stratégies d’adaptation au Changement climatique dans la région de l’Extrême Nord du Cameroun’’. Spécial hors-série n° 1, Science et technique, Lettres, Sciences sociales et humaines, pp 173-185.

. Malaval, C., Jouy, L., Desvignes, P., Carpy-Goulard, F., et Dumont, A. (2011). ‘‘Quelles sont les pratiques agricoles les plus « durables » ?’’ Essai de caractérisation des systèmes de cultures. Sciences Eaux & Territoires, Numéro 4, p. 8-14.

. Baillargeon, S. (2015, 11 juin). ‘‘Dégradation des sols en agriculture’’. Ecologie, Internet : [April 19, 2021]

. Sall, Ch. T., Fall, M., Ba Mbow, A. F., & Gueye, B. (2011). ‘‘Résilience et Innovation Locale face aux Changements Climatiques’’, Capitalisation des résultats du programme "Fonds de Soutien aux Stratégies Locales d’Adaptation (FSSA) ". IED Afrique.

. J. B. K. Vodounou and D. Y. Onibon, Agriculture paysanne et stratégies d’adaptation au changement climatique au Nord-Bénin. European Journal of Geography, N° 794, 2016.

. M. A. Stocking and N. Murnaghan. ‘‘Handbook for the Field Assessment of Land Degradation’’. Earthscan, London, 2001.

. M. Mustin, ‘‘Le compostage des déchets organiques : quelques applications agronomiques et environnementales’’, RITTMO (Recherche Innovation Transfert de Technologie pour les Matières fertilisantes Organiques), ENSA, Toulouse, 2018.

. M. Hébert et B. Breton. ‘‘Recyclage agricole des cendres de bois au Québec - État de la situation, impacts et bonnes pratiques agro-environnementales’’. AGROSOLUTIONS, Vol. 19 N°2, Décembre 2008.

. P. M. Coleman, ‘‘Land application of wood ash: 12 years in northern New England’’, In: Symposium on land application of wood-fired and combination boiler ashes, 1995, NCASI meetings, Asheville, North Carolina, August 2-3, p. 4-6.

. T. Gebreegziabher, J. Nyssen, B. Govaerts, F. Getnet, M. Behailu, M. Haile and J. Deckers. ‘‘Contour furrows for in situ soil and water conservation’’, Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Soil and Tillage Research, 103(2), 2009, Pp. 257-264.

. S. De Alba, C. Lacasta, G. Benito and A. Perez-Gonzalez. ‘‘Influence of soil management on water erosion in a Mediterranean semiarid environment in Central Spain’’. In: I World Congress on Conservation Agriculture, Madrid, Spain, 2001, Pp. 158–165

. T. Erkossa, K. Stahr and T. Gaiser. ‘‘Effect of different methods of land preparation on run off, soil and nutrient losses from a Vertisol in the Ethiopian highlands’’. Soil Use Manage. 21, 2005, Pp. 253–259.

. P. Mader, A. Fließbach, D. Dubois, L. Gunst, P. Fried and U. Niggli. ‘‘Soil fertility and biodiversity in organic farming’’. Science. 296, 2002, Pp. 1694–1697.

. G. Collaud, J.-P. Ryser et J.-J. Schwarz. ‘‘Capacité d’échange

des cations’’. Revue suisse d’agriculture 22 (5), 1990, Pp. 285–289.

. G. Agegnehu, P. N. Nelson, M. I. Bird. ‘‘Crop yield, plant nutrient uptake and soil physicochemical properties under organic soil amendments and nitrogen fertilization on Nitisols’’. Soil Tillage Res. 160, 2016, Pp. 1–13.

. L. R. Bulluck and J. B. III Ristaino. ‘‘Effect of synthetic and organic soil fertility amendments on Southern blight, soil microbial communities, and yield of processing tomatoes’’. Phytopathology. 92, 2002, Pp. 181–189.

. B. Liu, C. Tu, S. Hu, M. Gumpertz and J. B. Ristaino. ‘‘Effect of organic, sustainable, and conventional management strategies in grower fields on soil physical, chemical, and biological factors and the incidence of Southern Blight’’. Appl. Soil Ecol. 2007, 37, 2007, Pp. 202–214.

. J. A. Chandana and W. Jagath. ‘‘Review of organic and conventional agricultural products: Heavy metal availability, accumulation and safety’’. Int. J. Food Sci. and Nutr. 4(1), 2018, Pp. 77-88.

. C. Zaccone, R. Di Caterina, T. Rotunno, and M. Quinto. ‘‘Soil– farming system–food–health: Effect of conventional and organic fertilizers on heavy metal (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) content in semolina samples’’. Soil and Tillage Research. 107(2): 2010, Pp. 97-105.

. M. Kobierski, J. Lemanowicz, P. Wojewódzki, and K. Kondratowicz-Maciejewska. ‘‘The effect of organic and conventional farming systems with different tillage on soil properties and enzymatic activity’’. Agronomy, 10 (11), 1809, 2020.

. J. P. Reganold, L. F. Elliott and Y. L. Unger. ‘‘Long-term effects of organic and conventional farming on soil erosion’’. Nature, 330(6146), 1987, Pp. 370-372.

. M. H. Sigaye. “Integrated use of organic and inorganic fertilizers on maize (zea mays l.) yield and soil fertility in andisols of sidama’’, Ethiopia, 2020.

. C. Pautrot. ‘‘Érosion et dégradation des sols’’. Mémoires de l’Académie Nationale de Metz, France, 2012.

. K. Prager, J. Schuler, K. Helming, P. Zander, T. Ratinger and K. Hagedorn. “An analytical framework for soil degradation, farming practices, institutions and policy responses”, Paper prepared for presentation at the EAAE 2011 Congress Change and Uncertainty Challenges for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, August 30 to September 2, 2011, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

. N. Ravonjiarison, E. Penot, A. Albrecht et T. Razafimbelo. ‘‘Savoirs locaux et stratégies paysannes autour de la fertilité des sols au lac Alaotra’’, Madagascar, 25, 2018, Pp. 29-41.

. O. C. Ruppel. ‘‘Soil protection and the right to food: sustainability implications for global climate governance and world agricultural trade?’’, Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2021, pp. 499-528.

. Agronome et Vétérinaire Sans Frontière (AVSF). ‘‘Transitions agro-écologiques et agricultures paysannes’’. Note de positionnement., Juillet 2019.




How to Cite

Amavi de fer Anougué Tialefack, Nobert Tohnain Lengha, & Emile Temgoua. (2022). Capitalization of Local Agricultural Knowledge in the Fight against Soil Degradation: Experiences with Farmers of Bapa and Bamendjo in West Cameroon. International Journal of Natural Sciences: Current and Future Research Trends, 15(1), 41–68. Retrieved from