Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Women in the coastal/forest and...
 Women in the northern zone
 Project specific implications
 Women's organizations and women-in-development...

Group Title: BeanCowpea CRSP women in agriculture series
Title: Resource guide, women in agriculture
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/TEST000041/00001
 Material Information
Title: Resource guide, women in agriculture Cameroon
Series Title: BeanCowpea CRSP women in agriculture series
Physical Description: 62 p. : map ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Ferguson, Anne ( Anne E )
Horn, Nancy
Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program
Publisher: Bean/Cowpea CRSP, Michigan State University
Place of Publication: East Lansing Mich
Publication Date: 1987
Subject: Agriculture -- Bibliography -- Cameroon   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Cameroon   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Women -- Cameroon   ( lcsh )
Rural women -- Botswana   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: prepared by Anne Ferguson, Nancy Horn.
General Note: Cover: Funded through USAID/BIFAD Grant No. AID/DSAN-XII-G-0261.
General Note: Not entirely bibliographical.
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: TEST000041
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 18894021

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Women in the coastal/forest and highland/plateau zones
        Page 5
        Coastal and forest zones
            Page 5
            Page 6
        Highland and plateau zones
            Page 7
    Women in the northern zone
        Page 8
        Agro-ecological profile
            Page 9
            Page 10
        Demography and ethnic distribution
            Page 11
            Page 12
        Agricultural production systems
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
        Gender specific farming activities
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
    Project specific implications
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Land allocation, cropping systems and the division of labor by gender
            Page 22
        Technical inputs
            Page 23
            Page 24
        Food and nutrition
            Page 25
        Education and training
            Page 26
    Women's organizations and women-in-development in Cameroon
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
Full Text


/7. d/3
/12. IJa
/X.Q 5j


Prepared by:
Anne Ferguson
Nancy Horn
April 25, 1984


A number of individuals and organizations at Michigan State University
were helpful in identifying and making available to us materials on Cameroon.
These include Professor David Campbell of the Department of Geography (who
directed the Mandara Mountain project referred to unoer various titles in the
bibliography); Ms. Mary Pigozzi and the Non-Formal Education Center; Mrs.
Onuma Ezera and Mr. Learthen Dorsey of the Sahel Documentation Center; the
librarians and assistance personnel in the Agricultural Economics Reading Room
and the Main Library; and the helpful and friendly individuals of the
Educational Resource Center of the African Studies Center at Michigan State.


INTRODUCTION . . . ..... . .... 1.


I. Women in the Coastal/Forest and Highland/Plateau Zones . 5

A. Coastal and Forest Zones . . . . . 5

B. Highland and Plateau Zones . . . . 7

II. Women in the Northern Zone . . . . . 8

A. Agro-Ecological Profile . . . . 9

B. Demography and Ethnic Distribution .. . . 11

C. Agricultural Production Systems . . . .. 13

D. Gender-Specific Farming Activities .. . . 16

III. Project-Specific Implications . . . . . 20

A. Land Allocation, Cropping Systems and
the Division of Labor by Gender . . . .. 22

B. Technical Inputs . . . . . .. 23

C. Food and Nutrition. ...... . . ... 25

D. Education and Training . . . . ... 26

IV. Women's Organizations and Women-in-Development in Cameroon .. 26



The Bean/Cowpea CRSP is a program of coordinated projects in Africa and
Latin America that focuses on removing constraints to the production and utili-
zation of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata). Funded
by a Title XII grant from USAID/BIFAD, the goal of the program is to support
research and training which will ultimately result in a reduction of hunger and
malnutrition in developing countries.

In many of these areas, beans and cowpeas are staple foods that provide the
major source of protein and an important source of B vitamins in family diets.
Usually produced on small farms for household consumption and sale, these basic
food crops have not benefited from the kinos of research and extension efforts
accorded to crops grown for export purposes. Consequently, yields tend to be
low due to high insect and disease infestation, depleted soils and drought.
Oftentimes much of the meager harvest is lost during storage.

In many parts of the world the primary responsibility for the production
of beans, cowpeas and other crops grown for family consumption rests with women
and children. While women's roles in agriculture vary by country and region,
women generally play a major part in seed selection, planting, weeding, har-
vesting, storing, processing and preparing of food crops. These factors com-
bine to pose a special challenge to development efforts, suggesting both a need
to direct attention to the constraints faced by small farmers and at the same
time to recognize that in many contexts a majority of these farmers are likely
to be women.

A total of eighteen projects, eight in Africa and ten in Latin America, are
included in the Bean/Cowpea CRSP. All involve collaborative research efforts
between investigators located at Host Country (HC) institutions and investi-
gators at US universities and institutes. A wide range of research interests
is reflected in the program; all address the small farm context and many focus
on agricultural and food preparation tasks usually carried out by women.
Included in the program are projects designed to:

1. Increase bean and cowpea yields through developing disease and insect
resistant, drought tolerant or high nitrogen fixing varieties which
incorporate locally desirable traits (color, texture, taste and cooking

2. Faciliate the processing of beans and cowpeas through the development of
technologies that are suitable for use at the household and village level.

3. Investigate and where possible remove the anti-nutritional factors and
increase the protein content and digestibility of beans and cowpeas.

4. Address storage losses and preparation constraints such as the hard-to-cook
phenomena in beans.

In addition to the research objectives each project has a training
component tailored to HC bean and/or cowpea research needs. This includes
opportunities to participate in formal degree programs and in short-term
training courses. Interactions among researchers from the various projects in
the CRSP have resulted in an integrated approach which promises to yield
realistic and viable solutions to the problems confronting small farmers.

Since its inception, the Bean/Cowpea CRSP has incorporated a strong Women-
in-Development (WID) focus and has included a WID Specialist on its Management
Office staff. While specific objectives vary by project, certain WID concerns
are of program-wide significance. These include:

1. Assuring that gender issues are taken into account in information
gathering. This requires an awareness of the ways in which this variable
influences resource allocation, decision-making processes and the division
of labor within farming households. Such a focus is important in Latin
American contexts where women's participation in agriculture has often gone
unrecorded and is especially significant in many African areas where women
have access to their own fields and are responsible for providing for their
family's sustenance. In both situations data gathering must encompass male
and female work roles if workable solutions to the problems confronting
small farmers are to be devised.

2. Ascertaining that agricultural innovations (be they improved seed varieties,
new techniques or technologies) are appropriate to the small farm context
ano that these innovations do not result in the progressive marginalization
of women in the agricultural sector or increase their already heavy work

3. Encouraging the participation of women in the projects as researchers,
technicians and students. Over the long run such efforts are likely to
result in the diminution of male biases in research and hence to lead to
more equitable and successful development efforts.

Overall, the perspective is one which situates small producers within the
wider socio-cultural and economic contexts and draws attention to how a
consideration of gender differences within households and society will result
in achievement of project objectives and ultimately in improved nutrition and
health status.

As part of this effort a series of resource guides is being prepared to
provide Bean/Cowpea CRSP Principal Investigators (PIs) with an overview of
women's roles in agricultural production, processing and marketing in their
Host Countries. These handbooks are designed primarily for researchers in
agricultural and fooo or nutrition-related disciplines who may be unfamiliar
with the social science literature on the area where their projects are located.

Relying on secondary source materials, the objectives of the guides are,
first, to present a description of the local farming systems with emphasis on

women's work roles. The amount and quality of information on women in agri-
culture is highly variable. A large number of studies exist for some develop-
ing countries while in others few investigations have been conducted. Second,
a discussion of the relevance of the available information to the specific
project objectives is provided. Where studies are not available, suggestions
are mace as to what kinos of data on women's roles would be most appropriate.
In all cases, PIs are urged to gather information on women's roles in farming
through consultations with HC researchers and farmers, first-hand observations
and interviewing. Where there are plans to conduct on-farm trials, these may
provide an opportunity to clarify which members of the household are respon-
sible for the various production tasks. A third objective is to identify,
where possible, women's organizations in the HCs and researchers in both the
HC and the US who can serve as sources of information and as consultants.
Finally, an annotated bibliography of the literature on women's roles in
agricultural production, food processing and preparation in the HC is included.


The first in the series of resource handbooks has been prepared on northern
Cameroon where the University of Georgia and the Institut de Recherche
Agronomique au Cameroon are collaborating on a project entitled "Pest Manage-
ment Strategies for Optimizing Cowpea Yields in Cameroon." The principal
objectives of this project are to identify the key cowpea insect pests, to
develop and evaluate pest-management methods suitable for small farmers in
northern Cameroon and to train Cameroonian students and technicians for
entomological research. While some laboratory work is to be conducted in the
US at the University of Georgia and Boyce Thompson Institute, much of the
research is to take place in northern Cameroon and requires a familiarity with
local cropping systems, especially as these affect insect-plant relationships.

The literature on the Cameroonian agricultural sector and specifically on
women's roles in farming is substantial. However, most research has been
conducted in the south with less work having been carried out in the Northern
Province where the Bean/Cowpea CRSP project is located. Because Cameroon has
considerable agro-ecological and ethnic diversity a single generalized state-
ment concerning women's agricultural work cannot be made. Instead an overview
by region is therefore provided. Section I focuses on the southern, western
and northwestern parts of the country. Section II examines the Northern
Province, drawing attention to variations within the area by ecological zone
and ethnicity. In Section III, the findings of the secondary source materials
are related to the specific goals of the Bean/Cowpea CRSP project. Section IV
contains information on women's organizations and women-in-development in
Cameroon. The Resource Guide concludes with a selected and annotated
bibliography. References to many parts of Cameroon are included in the
bibliography but the focus is on materials dealing with the North.

I. Women in the Coastal/Forest and Highland/Plateau Zones

The Coastal/Forest Zone includes the Littoral, East, Central South and
Southwest Provinces while the Highlands Plateau Zones encompasses the West and
Northwest Provinces.

A. Coastal and Forest Zone

A wide variety of ethnic groups live in this region. The Pahouin tribes
(among them the Beti, Boulou, Fang and Ewondo) are the second largest ethnic
group in the country. Other people inhabiting the area are the Bakweri,
Duala, Batanga and Bassa. In her discussion of these groups, Bryson (1979)
notes that while there is variation by language and custom, certain social-
structural features tend to be shared. Among these are the absence in the past
of large centralized chiefdoms. Control over land and resources generally
rested with patrilineages and the most usual political unit was what Alexandre
and Binet (1958) termed the village family. This consisted of an elder, his
close male kin plus their wives and male and female children. These groups
often moved when their land was exhausted or when more land was needed, result-
ing in considerable mixing of ethnic groups. For example, Bryson (1979: 9)
notes that "it is difficult to specify exactly where the Ewondo or Beti live."


The first in the series of resource handbooks has been prepared on northern
Cameroon where the University of Georgia and the Institut de Recherche
Agronomique au Cameroon are collaborating on a project entitled "Pest Manage-
ment Strategies for Optimizing Cowpea Yields in Cameroon." The principal
objectives of this project are to identify the key cowpea insect pests, to
develop and evaluate pest-management methods suitable for small farmers in
northern Cameroon and to train Cameroonian students and technicians for
entomological research. While some laboratory work is to be conducted in the
US at the University of Georgia and Boyce Thompson Institute, much of the
research is to take place in northern Cameroon and requires a familiarity with
local cropping systems, especially as these affect insect-plant relationships.

The literature on the Cameroonian agricultural sector and specifically on
women's roles in farming is substantial. However, most research has been
conducted in the south with less work having been carried out in the Northern
Province where the Bean/Cowpea CRSP project is located. Because Cameroon has
considerable agro-ecological and ethnic diversity a single generalized state-
ment concerning women's agricultural work cannot be made. Instead an overview
by region is therefore provided. Section I focuses on the southern, western
and northwestern parts of the country. Section II examines the Northern
Province, drawing attention to variations within the area by ecological zone
and ethnicity. In Section III, the findings of the secondary source materials
are related to the specific goals of the Bean/Cowpea CRSP project. Section IV
contains information on women's organizations and women-in-development in
Cameroon. The Resource Guide concludes with a selected and annotated
bibliography. References to many parts of Cameroon are included in the
bibliography but the focus is on materials dealing with the North.

I. Women in the Coastal/Forest and Highland/Plateau Zones

The Coastal/Forest Zone includes the Littoral, East, Central South and
Southwest Provinces while the Highlands Plateau Zones encompasses the West and
Northwest Provinces.

A. Coastal and Forest Zone

A wide variety of ethnic groups live in this region. The Pahouin tribes
(among them the Beti, Boulou, Fang and Ewondo) are the second largest ethnic
group in the country. Other people inhabiting the area are the Bakweri,
Duala, Batanga and Bassa. In her discussion of these groups, Bryson (1979)
notes that while there is variation by language and custom, certain social-
structural features tend to be shared. Among these are the absence in the past
of large centralized chiefdoms. Control over land and resources generally
rested with patrilineages and the most usual political unit was what Alexandre
and Binet (1958) termed the village family. This consisted of an elder, his
close male kin plus their wives and male and female children. These groups
often moved when their land was exhausted or when more land was needed, result-
ing in considerable mixing of ethnic groups. For example, Bryson (1979: 9)
notes that "it is difficult to specify exactly where the Ewondo or Beti live."

A second shared feature is that while these ethnic groups tend to be
endogomous (marry within the group), they practice lineage exogomy (marriage
outside the lineage) and patrilocality. This means that women usually move
from their family of origin to join their husband's family. The amount of
brioewealth (gifts and/or a sum of money which is given to the woman's family
by the husband before the marriage is considered official) varies. In some
cases, especially areas where cash crops are grown, it is reported to be high
(Bryson, 1979). Polygamy also occurs.

In part, as an outgrowth of women's position between their own and their
husband's lineages, they do not usually inherit land. Instead they are
dependent on their fathers or husbands for access to fields. However, women
in this part of the country have well-established rights of usufruct. They
play a major role in the agricultural sector as the primary producers of food
for household consumption ana increasingly as producers of foodstuffs for the
growing urban markets. While there is variation within the zone, males tend
to be responsible for the production of tree crops grown primarily, but not
exclusively, for the export market and for the clearing of land in forest
areas. Relying largely on hoe culture, females cultivate fields usually under
an acre and a half in size on which they grow basic food crops such as maize,
yams, cassava, groundnuts, peas, beans and melons (Bryson, 1979: 55).

Available evidence suggests that women's roles in food production have
grown in importance with the advent of cash cropping. In discussing the impact
of cocoa grown primarily for the export market on farming practices among the
Beti, Guyer (1980) notes that males have withdrawn from spheres of food
production where they once participated with women (i.e. yams, melon seeds).
She calls attention to the dependence of households in both rural and urban
areas on crops produced primarily by women. Women's fields have reportedly
increased in size, are farmed more intensively and are cropped twice a year.
This has occurred despite the fact that agricultural extension efforts have
targeted males producing for the export market (OFUNC, 1977; Henn, 1983) and
despite repeated assertions that female producers will be unable to meet
growing urban demands for food.

In addition to working their own fields, women play a role in the
production of crops such as cocoa grown on men's fields, participating in the
harvest or preparing food for communal work parties. They may be compensated
for this by their husbands, either in cash or in the right to sell some of the
harvest (Guyer, 1977). Koenig (1976) reports that women are also employed as
wage laborers on plantations. Women in the southern areas have become involved
in trading activities selling their produce and prepared foodstuffs in village
and town markets. References to these trading activities which have become
known as "Buy 'em Sell 'em" are included in the annotated bibliography (Buys,
1975; Arouna, 1977; Nordin, 1978).

There is a strong tradition of women's associations among many people in
this zone. These include savings associations, mutual aid groups for agri-
cultural work and secret societies. As Bryson (1979: 15) points out, some of
these may have the potential to serve as the basis for development activities.

What emerges from this literature is not only an appreciation of the role
of women in agricultural production but also a perspective on household organ-
ization and economics that differs from prevailing Western-styled patterns.
For example, Guyer (1980) notes that Beti women maintain a high degree of
control over their domestic spheres, the harvest from their fields and the
proceeds from its sale. Rather than a pooling of resources within the house-
hold, what takes place here and elsewhere is a system of exchange with men and
women responsible for different aspects of the budget. Beti women make small
regular purchases and are responsible for the daily living and nutritional
standard of their families. When women's incomes increase, the additional
funds tend to be spent on items such as fish and meat or oil that improve
family diets. Men, on the other hand, pay for medical and educational
expenses, bridewealth, house building and other activities that require large
cash outlays. While both male and female contributions are necessary for
household maintenance, it is important to note that there are certain spheres
of responsibility for each sex and that this organization differs from the
management of household finances characteristic of most Western industrialized

B. Highland and Plateau Zones

The Western and Northwestern Provinces are densely populated by a diversity
of ethnic groups. Among them are the Bamileke (the largest ethnic group in
Cameroon), the Tikar and the Bamoun. There are striking differences between
this zone, which is predominately rolling hills, and the south with its coastal
plains and tropical rain forest cover.

Social organizational characteristics also differ in a number of
significant respects. In particular, the people of the Northwest and West
Provinces were organized into independent chiefdoms. Some groups, for example
the Bamileke, had a large number of chiefdoms, whereas others such as the
Bamoun were composed of a single chiefdom (Bryson, 1979: 18). Available
information suggests that these were highly stratified societies (Brain, 1972;
Kaberry, 1952; and McCulloch, Littlewood and Dugast, 1954), with clear
distinctions between "nobles" and "commoners."

A characteristic shared by many of the groups is the high status accorded
to the mother, wives and/or daughters of the chief. These women have many
rights and privileges which include participating in government and owning
property. Women in such positions (i.e., the Mafo or Queen Mother among the
Bamileke) can leave their lands, other property and titles to daughters
(Bryson, 1979: 19). Overall, while the majority of groups in this zone have
patrilineal descent systems, relations with matrilineal kin are strong. Among
the Tikar, for example, both men and women can gain access to land through
their matrikin, while among the Bamileke women can own property and rights to
land which can be left to their daughters (Bryson, 1979: 20). In these cases,
women do not have to depend on their husbands or fathers for access to land.

This factor has ramifications for the organization of agriculture and the
domestic or household economy. While variation exists, women in these
provinces are reported to be heavily involved in food production. In areas

where there is little tree cover this may include responsibilities for land
clearing in addition to other agricultural tasks. Although some help from
males may be received, it often comes from sons or from daughters' fiancees
rather than husbands. Among the Tikar, Kaberry suggests that women perform all
tasks associated with food crop production, with the exception of clearing the
land; among the Bamoun it is reported that both males and females participate
(Bryson, 1979: 24). Men in these areas are involved in growing crops such as
plantains, coffee, rice and maize for the market.

Attention was drawn earlier to household organization and economics in the
Coastal and Forest Zone. The pattern described there seems to be more pro-
nounced among certain groups in this area. Brain (1972), for instance, reports
that among the Bwanga (Bamileke) the concept of a nuclear family composed of
husband, wife and children does not exist. Instead a woman and her children
are thought to constitute a separate house within a polygamist compound. While
males have certain obligations, women are primarily responsible for providing
food for themselves, their children and their husbands. They also market
crops and exercise a degree of autonomy over the proceeds.

Finally, it should be pointed out that women's organizations and forms of
collective action are particularly well developed among many people in this
zone. Perhaps the best known of these in the development literature are the
Corn Mill Societies organized in the 1950's and described by O'Kelly (1978).
These consisted of groups of women who organized to collectively purchase corn
mills. Beginning with 15 such associations, the project gradually evolved into
232 societies with wide-ranging functions including collective farming, poultry
schemes and the like (Bryson, 1979: 93). Other more traditional forms of
organization are the Mansu among the Bamileke which is a special association
of the best female farmers, and a form of collective action by women known as
the anlu to protect their interests. (Bryson, 1979: 25; see especially
Ardner's 1975 description of Kom women's protest against British government
agricultural policies in 1958). In addition to these efforts women in many
groups organize to collectively work their fields.

II. Women in the Northern Zone

As this is the region where the Bean/Cowpea CRSP project is being
implemented, more detailed information is presented. First, major character-
istics of the four agro-ecological zones that comprise the Northern Province
are outlined. This is followed by a consideration of demographic character-
istics and ethnic composition, farming systems and gender-related roles within

The sources that were located on the North Province are included in the
bibliography. Many of the ethnographies report on fieldwork carried out
during the 1950's and 1960's and most are written in French (Boulet, 1975;
Boutrais, 1973; deGarine, 1964; Guillard, 1965; Lembezat, 1972; Rodlewski,
1971). The Mandara Mountains Research Reports which provide more current
information may be obtained from Michigan State University. Generally
speaking, it appears that outside of specific areas, such as the Mandara

Mountains, insufficient attention has been paid to the relationship between the
cash crop sector and the subsistence sector. In order to fully and accurately
describe the farming systems and the division of labor by sex within them, this
type of material and further studies on the dominant ethnic group in much of
the North, the Fulbe (also referred to as the Fulani and the Peul) would be

A. Agro-Ecological Profile

The Northern Province, extending from Lake Chad to south of Maroua
including the districts of Yaere and Deamare, has several distinctive agro-
ecological features (see Fig. 1). The extreme north of Yaere is bound by Lake
Chad, the western region is dominated by the Mandara Mountains and the eastern
border is comprised of two rivers--the Chari north of Kousseri and the Logone
south of that city. There is no distinctive ecological border separating the
districts from each other or from neighboring districts to the south. Gener-
ally speaking, however, the majority of the Northern Province is located in the
Sudano-Sahelian belt, characterized by seven months or more of dry season, a
precipitation range between 400mm and 900mm annually and an annual average
temperature of 280C. Much of the land area is not very suitable for agri-
culture. This differs somewhat from the area south of Maroua which is char-
acterized as humid tropical. Here average rainfall is between 900mm and
1500mm, the average annual temperature is 280C and the area is more suitable
for growing crops (see Jeune Afrique, Atlas de la Republique du Cameroon).
Within each of these zones, however, there are variations in the micro-ecology.
Four regions, each with distinctive geological, geographical, climatic and
human adaptive features, are briefly considered. These are the Mandara
Mountains, the Plateau, the Plains and the Lake Chad region.

Mandara Mountains--The western one-third of the Northern Province contains
hills and mountains ranging from 3,000 to 4,500 feet. The mountains are
eroded and, as a result of the torrential rains occurring early in the wet
season, course, granular and incohesive soils have been deposited in the foot-
hills. Some of the soils in this area are volcanic. Rainfall in the mountains
averages between 951mm and 1,057mm annually. Peak months of rainfall are July
(246mm) and August (228mm) with a sharp buildup in May and June and a sharp
decline after September. November, December, January and February generally
receive no rain at all. Cultivation takes place on the steep mountain slopes.
Soils are managed intensively rendering them more fertile at times than those
in adjacent valleys. Topsoils wash away in the early torrential rains which
generally occur in May. Terracing, which reduces erosion, is practiced by
many of the local inhabitants. Virtually all arable land is cultivated. The
number of livestock is generally kept to a minimum since foraging areas are
limited and livestock must be enclosed and fed for several months of the year
to keep animals away from crops. Holtzman (1982) explains that after the
harvest, animals are left to browse fields.

The Plateau--The altitude of the Plateau ranges between 500 and 1,000
meters and the area receives from 1,000 to 1,200mm of rainfall annually. Niang
(1982) provides a description of the region. He notes that it extends from

Figure 1

- 6


Voie f
Lac o1

I -282 -

P _. -- .------.------_----

J FAM OM|JJ N|O!A i1s-N 0
La Bdnoui a Garoua
M = 7 I/s;km2 Piriode 1930-1963

h iman-- --


b Roumsiki
principal )1J224
S~ 'i~ndif
secondaire / DIAMAR. Yag32a6
Sou rapids e-
u retnue 18-
Ry ap of te N r

Relief and Hydrography of the Northern Province (including roads). Atlas de
la Republique Unie du Cameroun. Paris: Editions Jeune Afrique, 1979.



Tcheoi and Bourrah in the south to Mokolo and Soulede in the north, comprising
about half of the Margui-Wandala Department. Soils are not inherently fertile,
although they are increasingly being brought under cultivation. As a result
of government control of Fulbe raiding for cattle thus making the area safe
for cultivation, mountain people are moving to the Plateau (Campbell, Riddell
1981). Both cultivation and cattle herding take place, each practiced by
different ethnic groups, as described below. Water scarcity occurs in the dry

The Plains--Comprising another one-third of the land area of the North, the
Plains lie below 500m and receive between 500mm and 750mm of rain annually.
Soils are generally sandy, with more fertile soils found in the river valleys.
Water is often not available during the dry season, thus making cultivation
difficult. Niang (1982) indicates that most farming occurs in alluvial areas
where cotton growing predominates. Pastoral societies are found in this zone,
although some cultivation is undertaken to supplement Fulbe and Arab Choa

Lake Chao Floodplain (Yaere District)--Water levels in the floodplain begin
to rise in June and July and crest at 1,500 M3/S in August and 2,500 M3/S in
September, subsiding to 1,000 M3/S in October with a steady drying out through
January. The lowest amount of rainfall in the country (500mm per annum) occurs
in the area north of Kousseri and south of Lake Chad. Peak rainfall months
recorded at Kousseri are July and August (receiving 150mm and 250mm, respec-
tively). The soils around the lake are alluvial and contain ferruginous and
carbonate materials. Along the Serbewel River, soils are also alluvial but
tend to be more sandy. Both pastoral and crop-growing economies exist in this
region, although practices vary with ethnicity.

B. Demography and Ethnic Distribution

In 1976 the population of Northern Province was estimated at 2,300,000,
with approximately 330,000 people in urban areas (67,200 of whom live in
Maroua) and the remainder in rural zones. The Lake Chad area has a population
density of between 6-12 people per km2. Directly south, on the Floodplain,
the population thins to between 3-6 per km2. Population density around
Maroua is between 12-25 per km2, with the region west of the city having a
density of 25-50 per km2. (This generally coincides with the cotton-growing
region). The same population density exists along the Logone River in the
southeast quadrant of the Province. (This coincides with a rice-growing
region.) Boulet (1975) reports that in the valley or Magoumay area there is
an average of 245 persons per km2 while Zalla, Campbell, et al (1981)
indicate that portions of the Mandara Mountains and the Plateau are the most
densely populated in the province with up to 250 people per km2.

Zalla, Campbell, et al. (1981) also note that the Mandara Mountain region
has the highest infant mortality in the country--196 deaths per thousand live
births. Trechter (1981) reports 225 per 1000 births, while others he cites
found up to 477 deaths per 1000 for the under 5 age group. Contributing to the

high infant and childhood mortality rates is the mild level of undernutrition
(children less than 85% of the normal body weight) reported for this region in
the UCLA nutrition stuoy (1978). Child feeding practices may play a role as
Trechter (1981) notes that supplemental feeding of infants in some Mandara
Mountain villages does not occur until they are about 15 months old. The UCLA
nutrition study (1978) reported that 70% of mothers in the North breastfeed
their children until the age of 21 months and that fresh milk is consumed only
in the North and is fed to 7% of children between the ages of 3 and 23 months.
Children in the North receive special foods, such as millet or sorghum pap,
longer than do children elsewhere. Because they are not being fed family foods
their nutritional intake may be poorer than that of the rest of the family.
Women in the North have the highest proportion of undernutrition reported for
the country. Population growth rates are about 2.5% per year in the Mandara
region (Niang, 1982).

Population pressures in the North were intensified during 1981 and 1982
when over 10,000 Chadians took refuge in the area. Not all of these have
returned home. In fact, the numbers tend to fluctuate according to political
events. Considerable seasonal and permanent out-migration from the North takes
place. Temporary migration is especially common from January through March
when little agricultural work is done and men search for jobs in urban or more
agriculturally productive areas (Boulet, 1975; deGarine, 1978).

Ethnic distribution throughout the province is complex. Riddell (1980)
estimates there are at least 23 different ethnic groups in the Mandara
Mountains alone. The USAID report (1979) indicates that the Massa and the
Toupouri live along the Chadian border in dispersed settlements. They practice
mixed farming and also fish to supplement their diets. deGarine (1978; 1980)
notes the Massa are divided into two groups, the Northern and the Southern.
The Northern Massa are fishermen, practice sedentary animal husbandry and grow
red sorghum in the rainy season. He notes that these people do not grow rice,
even though it is suited to their habitat, because rice requires a year-long
labor commitment which does not accommodate their periodic and cyclical ritual
and religious observances. The Southern Massa in contrast grow a late variety
of sorghum. deGarine also discusses the Toupouri who inhabit the rice-growing
region of the province's southern quadrant. He notes that they plant rainy
season sorghum, practice sedentary animal husbandry and fish during the dry
season. He estimates that the population density of the Toupouri is about 60
per km2.

The Musey, who are found throughout the North, are described by deGarine
as bush clearers who plant in furrows, grow rainy season red sorghum, bullrush
millet, beans, groundpeas, sesame, false sesame, sweet potatoes and cassava.
In the Floodplain, they grow eleusene, transplanted sorghum and rice. They
also raise cattle, fish seasonally and hunt. ..Their population density is
approximately 18 per km2. Musey homesteads are organized in concentric
circles with the homesite at the center, surrounded first by food crops (which
are the responsibility of women) then by secondary food crops and finally an
outer perimeter of pastureland.

At least one-half of the Plains population are Fulbe (Fulani) who arrived
in the area during the 17th and 18th centuries. Originally herders, about 80%
of the Plains Fulbe are now sedentary and practice mixed farming (USAID, 1979).
Many wealthy Fulbe live in towns and hire labor to work their farms. Dupire
(1970) notes that the social organization of the Fulbe varies according to
economic variables, i.e., whether groups are traditional pastoralists, settled
agriculturists or mixed farmers. No detailed studies of these groups in
Cameroon were found. What information is available suggests that the Fulbe
are politically and economically powerful. deGarine, for example, states that
all trade of importance is controlled by Islamic populations (including Housa
who come from Nigeria) and, to a lesser extent, southern groups such as the
Bamileke. He also comments that the Fulbe dominate economic and social life

The Mafa (sometimes referred to as Matakam) comprise the largest ethnic
group living in the Mandara Mountains. Boulet (1975), reporting on field
research carried out in the Mandara Mountains from 1965-67, provides informa-
tion on agricultural production, while Martin (1972) details social organiza-
tional characteristics and changes that have occurred as the Mafa move from
the Mountains to the Plains. Many of the Mandara Mountains Reports prepared
by Michigan State University and included in the bibliography also make
reference to this population. Finally, it is important to note that there is
a large number of other groups living in the zone (see Niang, 1982).

While variation in ecological adaptation and socio-cultural organization
exists among Northern groups, one of the most salient divisions is between the
Mountain and Plain populations. Holtzman (1982) has characterized the inter-
actions between them in the following way:

Despite the traditional animosity between the montagnards
(mountain people) and the Fulani, there is specialization
in the performance of agricultural tasks in areas where the
montagnards and the Fulani live side by side. While moun-
tain groups concentrate on crop production, Fulani herders
raise livestock. Settled farmers sometimes entrust their
cattle to Fulani grazers. At the same time the Fulani hire
settled farmers as seasonal laborers to cultivate their
maize and sorghum fields. Furthermore, specialization in
the performance of agricultural tasks leads to exchange,
not only of labor services, but of grain and dairy products
as well (p. 41).

C. Agricultural Production Systems

Farming systems vary in accordance with environmental parameters, local
level socio-cultural characteristics and government policies and economic
development strategies. Niang (1982) has divided the farming systems according
to agro-ecological zone. His scheme, supplemented by other researchers'
findings, will be followed here.

Overall, the people of the Mandara Mountains practice mixed crop and
livestock enterprises in order to adapt to the constraints of their environ-
ment. Productivity is enhanced through soil conservation, crop rotation,
intercropping and a complex interchange between crops and livestock. Campbell
and Trechter (1982) report that millet, sorghum, cowpeas, fruits and vegetables
are grown in the mountains and that there are seasonal shortages of food.
Frazier and Deguefu (1980) note that in the cultivation of cowpeas, fusarium
root rot is a problem. Trechter (1981) finds that in the "hungry" season (May
through September) people rely mostly on millet, sorghum, leafy vegetables,
cowpeas and legumes and gather wild food where it is available. Zalla,
Campbell, et al. (1981) note that 98% of the Mountain population live on dis-
persed farms and that they intensively cultivate sorghum, millet and groundnuts
on terraced slopes. They report that people are not self-sufficient in cereals
and that the per capital production is declining due to soil erosion and other
factors which have resulted in a seasonal out-migration pattern. Higher
instances of malnutrition have also been noted. These same authors found that
70% of all households in the mountain region grow cowpeas intercropped with
millet and sorghum. Cowpeas are planted in rotation with groundnuts, peanuts,
tiger nuts and sweet potatoes. They often provide a crop in years when the
cereal harvest fails.

As noted earlier a system of terracing has long been practiced in the
Mountains. Soil fertility is maintained through crop rotation and the
preservation of acacia and other trees. Farmers here and on the Plateau grow
cereals and beans for subsistence and groundnuts are grown for cash. Livestock
is often stall-fed due to the limited amounts of pasture ano the cyclical need
to keep animals away from cultivated fields.

More specific to the Plateau, a variety of ethnic groups practice a variety
of farming systems. Originally inhabited by Fulbe herders, the area has been
brought unoer government supervision allowing people from the densely populated
Mountain zones to descend to the Plateau thus pushing the Fulbe to the Plains.
Subsistence crops such as cereals and beans, as well as sweet and Irish pota-
toes, vegetables, tobacco, manioc and sugar cane are cultivated on the Plateau.
Disputes between herders and agricultural groups over rights to land continue
despite government regulation efforts. Mafa on the Plateau and in the
Mountains are reported to use a complex system of mulching and intercropping
to grow sorghum, millet and other crops (USAID, 1979).

On the Plains, the constraints of low soil fertility and aridity limit crop
production. Farming is concentrated in alluvial branches, primarily in the
river valleys. Cotton is a major crop in these areas, with the Mandara, an
Islamicized group, being the prime cultivators. However, for the most part,
herding and mixed farming practiced by the Fulbe and Arab Choa peoples are the
dominant form of agricultural production. The most common crops are millet
and sorghum (both rainy season and transplanted); maize and rice supplement
these in certain areas. Peanuts are grown both for subsistence and for sale.
Cassava, yam and sweet potatoes are also produced. The USAID study (1979)
draws attention to some of the cropping systems:

In some areas, cotton rotates with sorghum on heavy soils
and in sanoy soils cotton may be followed by sorghum inter-
planted with peanuts before prolonged fallow. Transplanted
sorghums are grown in the clayey lowlands, without rotation
or interplanting (p. III/9).

The Plains Fulbe are reported in the same document to practice a form of
shifting extensive agriculture. Farmers live very close to subsistence in this
region and do not take unnecessary risks unless benefits to the entire farming
operation are likely to result. Food crops are favored over cash crops. Labor
shortages occur at key times in the agricultural cycle and may function to
deter farmers from adopting new or more intensive agricultural methods.

In the Lake Chad region, sorghum and millet are the staple crops while
maize in the extreme north and groundnuts elsewhere constitute secondary crops.
Okra, beans and leafy vegetables are also grown. Rice is grown in the extreme
north as a cash crop, but not necessarily by Massa groups as commented on
above. The USAID report (1979) contains information on rice production
characteristics and yields. Cotton is also grown as a cash crop, generally on
plantations of under 1,000 ha located in the the southern regions of the
Logone River.

Livestock management is also important in the North. Practices are
well-documented for the mountain region by Holtzman (1982) who notes that
management varies in accordance with ecological constraints and ethnicity.
Concerning feeding, one in four Mountain households tend to stall-feed their
cattle while at least half of Plateau households range-feed theirs. Plains
feeding practices are not discussed but it can be assumed that cattle are
primarily range-fed since their owners are generally Fulbe and Arab Choa whose
major occupations are pastoral.

Animals are used for traction purposes in the Plains and Plateau areas,
plowing fields to be planted in cotton, peanuts and sweet potatoes. Animals
are also used for weeding and for transporting harvested crops.

While cattle play an important role in bridewealth and marriage negotiations
among many groups, considerably more families own small ruminants than cattle.
The goat population is higher in Mountains and the Plateau, while the sheep
population is greater in the Plains. Fulbe and Arab Choa Islamic populations
require sheep for ritual purposes and thus tend to raise more. In addition,
sheep do well on the succulent and moist grasses of the well-watered, low-lying
Plains. Families in the Plains and in the Plateau also own donkeys and use
them for traction and transportation.

The most productive of the regions in the North are portions of the
Plateau where a variety of crops is grown and where animals can be range-fed.
Sale of surplus crops is possible in this area, allowing farmers to purchase
more cattle.

Some brief comments about the history of cash cropping in the North,
particularly cotton, peanut and rice production, deserve mention. Cash crops
were originally introduced as a means for cultivators to pay their taxes. As
their production was in many cases obligatory, they corresponded to the needs
of, first, the colonial and, later, the national government more than they did
to the interests of small producers. With regard to peanuts which were ori-
ginally planted for domestic consumption and represented dietary resource,
forced production resulted in the unpopularity of the crop. It is only in the
last twenty-five years that peanuts have regained their position in family food
production (deGarine, 1978: 48). Available information also suggests that
cotton growing has had an adverse impact on food for domestic consumption (and
also on soils). Whereas it was once planted as part of a four year crop rota-
tion sequence, in some areas it is now planted every other year (rotating with
sorghum and millet). This practice has resulted in a reduced production of
legumes, sesame and peanuts (deGarine, 1978: 47). Rice is well suited for pro-
duction in certain environments in the North and has become an important food
crop among some groups. In areas where S4ERY operates, it appears to be a crop
grown especially by the economically better-off farmers who are able to comply
with the requirements of its production. As is the case with cotton, however,
deGarine notes that rice growing competes with animal husbandry and fishing
which have customarily supplied an important source of protein in local diets.

D. Gencer-Specific Farming Activities

Here as elsewhere in Cameroon, the division of labor by sex is an important
variable in understanding farming systems. The literature on women's partici-
pation in agricultural production in the North is not as extensive as it is
for other zones. However, what information is available suggests considerable
variation with especially notable differences between the Islamic and herding
populations and the other groups. A brief overview of men's and women's work
roles in agriculture is presented below, with notes made where variation by
ethnicity is significant.

Non-Islamic Populations--Similar to the situation detailed earlier for the
Coastal and Forest Zone, the indigenous peoples (non-Islamic) of the North
appear not to have had centralized political systems. Instead, authority
rested with individual partilineages. As is also generally the case in the
southern parts of Cameroon, residence after marriage tends to be patrilocal.
Matrilineal ties in the North are less strong than in the Highlands and Plateau
Zone and do not usually provide access to land for either males or females.

The Massa and Toupouri have traditionally practiced polygamy; however, high
bridewealth payments coupled with other factors have resulted in the majority
of marriages being monogamous (Bryson, 1979: 31).Women gain access to fields
through their husbands. Upon the birth of children, wives are reported to be
given their own house, kitchen and graneries where they store the produce from
their fields and from which they feed their offspring. The picture that
emerges regarding the household economy is similar in some respects to that
described earlier by Guyer (1980). That is, men and women have separate
responsibilities and separate income sources which they employ in meeting
their obligations.

Generally speaking, only males can inherit property. Riddell (1980) points
out that there is considerable variation by ethnic group with both primogeni-
ture (the oldest son inheriting) and ultimogeniture (the youngest son inherit-
ing) being practiced. Moreover, Campbell and Riddell (1981) indicate that
among many Manoara Mountain people every son inherits an equal share of his
father's land thus fracturing holdings, making them uneconomic and inadequate
for total subsistence reliance. Some exceptions to the pattern of male owner-
ship are found. For example, among the Toupouri upon marriage a woman receives
a piece of land for wet season crops and another for dry season crops as well
as rights of usufruct on land allocated to her husband (Bryson, 1979; USAID
Report, 1979). Upon her death these fields are passed on to her youngest son.
Riddell (1980) found one village (Hina-speaking) in his thirty-six village
survey where daughters are said to have equal inheritance rights with sons.
In this regard, it should be borne in mind that in many areas of Northern
Cameroon land ownership is structured differently and implies different rights
and obligations than in fully capitalist economies. In indigenous systems,
while individual families may have long standing rights to use certain fields
or pastures, land belongs to the patrilinage as a whole and hence cannot be
"sold." Land sales, rentals and loans often represent a transfer only of use
rights (Riddell, 1980).

While women do not generally inherit land, they nonetheless have well
respected use rights and here as elsewhere in Cameroon, play an important role
in food crop production. However, in contrast to both the Coastal/Forest and
the Highland/Plateau Zones, males in the North are reported to play a greater
part in growing crops for domestic consumption. This may be due to the fact
that the region as a whole is more isolated and less commercialized than other
parts of the country. Bryson (1979: 35-36) indicates that among certain groups
(Massa and Toupouri) the division of labor is not so much on the basis of agri-
cultural tasks such as planting and weeding but rather on the basis of alloca-
tion of fields. For example, Toupouri men communally farm millet and sorghum
fields while women cultivate their own individual fields planted in sorghum and
vegetable crops. Mafa women work with their husbands on sorghum and grounonuts
but, in addition, they maintain their own fields of secondary crops. Women who
have moved to the Plain are reported to have diminished rights to land.
Boutrais (1973) notes that many of them have become assistantsor helpers on
their husband's fields and no longer have access to plots.

Women also play a role in cash crop production. For example, among the
Massa and Toupouri the primary producers and marketers of tobacco are reported
to be women. In addition, Massa women take part in cotton and rice production
(deGarine, 1978; Bryson, 1979). Surplus food crops are also marketed. Zalla,
Campbell et al (1981) indicate that women in the Mandara Mountains gain some
income from the sale of cowpeas and that approximately 10% of the crop is sold.
Women are largely responsible for growing peanuts both as a subsistence and as
a cash crop. aeGarine (1978) notes that income from the sale of groundnuts
provides women with a household budget. Campbell, et al (1981) assert that
women's budgets are further enhanced by the sale of cereals, beer and wine
(which they brew themselves). In cotton growing areas, females engage in
spinning and weaving activities (Bulenberg, 1978). Income, then, is generated
from a variety of sources including sale of food and cash crops, small
livestock such as poultry and woven items.

Estimates of the amount of time women spend in agricultural work are
generally lacking. Boulet (1975) is one of the few available sources. He
found that curing the months of May through July women work more than fifty
hours per week in fields and that in addition they are responsible for house-
hold chores such as drawing water, pounding millet and sorghum, cooking and
meal preparation tasks and child care. Fikry (1978) discusses the difficul-
ties involved in provisioning the house with water during the dry season in the
mountains. When nearby lakes and streams dry up women typically make round
trips of from twelve to fifteen kms to get water. This task is especially
onerous when water must be drawn for animals as well. Both at the peak of the
agricultural cycle and in the dry season women are often exhausted and
therefore unable to prepare adequate meals for their families.

Two recent articles regarding food and nutritional issues among the
non-Islamic Northern populations are especially noteworthy. Campbell and
Trechter (1982) have examined strategies for dealing with food shortages in
the Mandara Mountains. They found that strategies differ according to the
severity of the food shortage and that coping mechanisms are gender specific.
(This may very well reflect the differing responsibilities and roles that men
and women have in household provisioning which were described above.) During
the soudure, or first stage of the food shortage, women tend to borrow food or
money, go without eating longer and reduce the portions fed to the family. Men
may sell or slaughter some of their livestock. As the shortage progresses,
other coping mechanisms are employed. Women may plant or begin to gather
certain wild food or they may sell or use seed reserves. Men may migrate to
other regions in search of work. The authors propose that local level
responses be monitored and used to identify the need for food relief in times
of severe food shortage.

In a different vein, deGarine (1980) calls attention to food habits and
preferences among the Massa, Mussey and Toupouri populations living along the
Logone River. Under the impact of Western and Fulani influences and as a
result of the increased monitarization of the economy, food preferences have
been moving away from traditional staples such as red sorghum toward what are
regarded to be more modern and prestigious foods such as white sorghum and rice.

This description has highlighted women's roles in crop-related activities.
It should be borne in mind that for some populations in the North, livestock
raising and fishing are of equal if not greater importance. Available informa-
tion suggests that women in these societies are also involved in these
activities (Bryson, 1979).

Islamic Populations--Little information was found concerning the Fulbe and
Islamic-influenced groups such as the Mandara. Bryson (1979) provides a brief
overview of the Fulbe (Fulani) political organization, marriage practices and
agricultural/pastoral activities. She notes that Islamic people are found in
the Plains areas of the four most northerly departments and the savannah region
of the Adamaoua and Beneoue. As noted earlier, while some Islamic groups are
transhumant, most are settled agriculturalists.

-Fulbe are organized into political structures known as lamidats, of which
there are twenty-one in North Cameroon. The head of each (called a lamido) is
responsible for land allocations. In contrast to the situation among many of
the non-Islamic peoples, however, allocated land can be sold. In addition,
women inherit land. Riddell (1980) reports that daughters are entitled to one
half that given to sons. In a similar fashion, Bryson notes that widows are
accorded one eighth of the property; two thirds of the remainder is divided
equally among sons and the rest is divided equally among daughters. Women are
free to use and dispose of their property as they choose with husbands having
no rights to the income derived from it (Bryson, 1970: 31). As a consequence
of these inheritance patterns some Islamic women have become large landowners.

Considerable differences exist between herding and sedentary populations
with regard to women's roles in agriculture and in marketing. Among Fulbe
pastoralists, women are reported to milk cows, make butter and sour milk. They
also sell or trade these products in town markets and purchase or receive in
exchange grains and vegetables for household consumption. These markets may
be located fifteen to twenty miles from their homes (Walker and Brozier, 1977).
Sedentary Fulbe women are more constrained in their interactions. Some work
in household gardens growing peanuts, cotton and millet. Where religious
beliefs are more orthodox, women are not permitted to work in their own or
their husband's fields and labor is supplied by children, male family members
and hired workers. If women are kept in seclusion, husbands, children or
servants are responsible for the marketing. In such cases, women may process
food in their homes for their not-yet-secluded daughters to sell in the
market. Again, the income derived from these activities belongs to the woman.

Fulbe women are reported to use their income for their own purposes. In
contrast to the non-Islamic populations described earlier, where women have
well defined responsibilities with regard to family maintenance and use their
incomes to fulfill these obligations, Bryson (1979: 37) reports that Fulbe
women are not expected to contribute to daily household maintenance unless
their husbands are unable to do so. Their money tends to be spent on personal
toiletries or on daughter's dowries (Walker and Brozier, 1977).

What little information is available on women's educational attainment in
the North concerns the Islamic population. Clignet (1977) indicates that these
women are more likely to attend Koranic rather than French-styled schools since
it is feared that women, who are viewed as the culture bearers of Islamic
society, will alter their beliefs and values if exposed to wider society
influences. He notes that only girls who come from more "modern" families go
to French language schools. Very few of these are enrolled in technical
streams. Overall, education for women appears to be valued, although it is not
seen as intrinsically worthwhile. Education for women is viewed as instru-
mental to enhancing a husband's status; hence educated women (mainly from
Koranic schools) command a higher brideprice because they are more desirable.
Only a very small percentage of the school age population in the North is
enrolled. Estimates range from 19% (Walker and Brozier, 1977) to 30% (Niang).

Before examining the project-specific implications of this information,
some general points will be made concerning women's roles in agriculture in
Cameroon. First, the studies cited throughout the report indicate that women
are usually responsible for growing crops for their own domestic consumption
and for sale to urban areas. In other words, they are the primary food provi-
sioners in Cameroon. Women have fulfilled this role without access to agri-
cultural extension efforts, improved seed varieties, modern techniques,
technologies or credit, which, when available, are directed toward men. While
males may be expected to transfer some of this information to their wives,
much is either not conveyed or altered (USAID, 1979). Improvements in food
production to meet growing urban needs and to improve nutritional status
therefore will require the development of ways to reach female farmers.

Second, families are structured and households are managed in different
ways than is the case in western societies and there is little reason to assume
that western-styled patterns will be duplicated on a wide scale in Cameroon.
As the literature indicates, males and females have separate domains of
responsibility in household maintenance. In order to meet their needs and
obligations which may include the provisioning of condiments such as salt and
household supplies such as kerosene or soap, women often sell part of their
harvest. In some cases, meeting these obligations leads to the sale of high
protein foods (beans, cowpeas, poultry, eggs) and to the purchase of less
expensive and less nutritious products, thus jeopardizing family nutritional
status. Again, this speaks to the need to provide females with access to
improved means of food crop production so that obligations can be met at the
same time that high protein foods are retained for household consumption.

Finally, it should be borne in mind that there is considerable diversity
by region in Cameroon and that the situation with regard to food crop produc-
tion is very fluid. Where urban markets exist, as for example around Yaounde
and Douala, males may either return to or commence growing food crops for sale.
In other areas, such as the North where employment opportunities are limited,
men may migrate either temporarily or on a permanent basis leaving women with
increased agricultural responsibilities.

In conclusion, what emerges from the literature is an appreciation of the
major role of women in agricultural production, food processing, marketing and
food preparation in Cameroon. Improvements in the quantity and quality of the
national food supply will rest in large part on the success of efforts to
better incorporate female farmers into agricultural development strategies.

III. Project-Specific Implications

As noted earlier, the Bean/Cowpea CRSP project in Cameroon focuses
primarily on cowpea pest management strategies. The principal objectives,
outlined in the Project Paper and the 1983 Detailed Annual Report are to:

1. Identify key insect pests and their biology within the principal cowpea
producing areas of Northern Cameroon.

2. Evaluate cowpea cultivars for resistance to facilitate breeding for

3. Identify factors within cropping systems which affect insect-plant

4. Develop and evaluate pest management methods suitable for small farmers in
Northern Cameroon.

5. Identify behavior-modifying chemicals' potential for management of major
cowpea insect pests.

6. Characterize the chemical and ecological nature of plant resistance.

7. Train Cameroonian students and technicians for entomological research.

Although these goals reflect the interests of scientific endeavors in the
area of entomology and pest management, their achievement depends in part on
knowledge of the wider socio-agronomic context. This is particularly the case
because the University of Georgia/Institut de la Recherche Agronomique project
seeks to develop interventions that are appropriate for a specific target
population--small farmers. Some understanding of cropping practices, the
division of labor by gender and age, land allocation patterns, decision-making
processes and the like among this category of farm households is therefore
useful and will contribute to the realization of project objectives.

Toward this end an effort is made here to relate the information culled
from the secondary source materials to the specific project objectives and to
the research strategy as it has been outlined in the 1983 Detailed Technical
Report. The question to be examined is: What are the important socio-cultural
and economic parameters, especially as they relate to gender differences, that
should be taken into account in conducting experiments and designing appro-
priate pest management strategies in order to maximize project benefits? In
areas where data is lacking or needs further elaboration this is indicated and
suggestions are made regarding its collection.

The materials reviewed in Sections I and II have drawn attention to the
ethnic and agro-ecological diversity that characterizes the North. It is also
clear that social class divisions increasingly cross-cut ethnic lines.
Together these two factors suggest that care should be taken in properly
identifying the target population. There are small, medium and large farmers
in the project area and within the small farm category there is a diversity of
adaptations (subsistence, cash crop and mixed farming). In other words, it
should be stressed that no single small farm type exists. This needs to be
taken into account, for example, in experiments designed to identify factors
within cropping systems that may affect insect plant relationships or in the
development and evaluation of pest management methods. Both cropping systems
and appropriate interventions are likely to vary within the small farmer

A second and related point concerns small farm management practices.
Generally speaking, small farms in Northern Cameroon are family enterprises,

not commercial businesses hence, management decisions rest upon a different
set of criteria than those characteristic of large commercial farms. Small
farm households are more dependent on and enmeshed in a series of local-level
kinship and community relationships. Their goals are not simply those of
short-term profit maximization but rather concern social security in its
broadest sense. Since farms are perceived of as homes, the primary concern of
production is subsistence. In a context of scarcity and uncertainty, such as
that found in many areas of Northern Cameroon, this orientation with its
greater reliance on friendship and kinship networks provides economic and
survival benefits. (See for example, the article by Campbell and Trechter,
1982, describing responses to food shortages.)

It is from this small farmer perspective that issues of land allocation,
the division of labor by age and gender, cropping practices, technological
inputs and food and nutrition will briefly be examined. In each case an
effort is made to demonstrate how attention to gender will contribute to the
achievement of the research objectives.

A. Land Allocation, Cropping Systems and the Division of Labor by Gender

The topics of how land is allocated and who within the family makes
decisions regarding the crops grown on it are of significance to the project
in a number of respects. The studies reviewed earlier indicate that in some
cases wives and husbands work together in fields, while in others women have
access to their own individual fields. The degree of control over crop
management that women exercise in their fields or within family fields
deserves consideration. The literature suggests that in the North females are
often responsible for the cultivation of vegetable crops while men work on
cereal crops. If this is indeed the case, and if it is found that women are
the primary decision-makers with regard to the management of cowpeas and other
vegetable crops, it becomes clear that experiments and innovations proposed by
the Bean/Cowpea CRSP project need to focus primarily on women farmers.

With this in mind, a number of points regarding labor allocation within
family farming system deserve consideration.

1. If proposed innovations and pest management strategies require greater or
more intensive labor inputs, efforts should be made to ascertain who will
be responsible for these inputs and at what stage in the production cycle
they are required. The strategies women employ in finding help in peak
production periods usually differ from those available to men. When more
labor is required male heads of households may call upon a network of kin
and friends to participate in a communal labor party. These activities
are generally reciprocated by entire families. Women, on the other hand,
do not traditionally call work parties and may be able to mobilize only a
small number of women for help in their fields. If innovations require
more time/labor, then care must be given to how this need will effect the
existing division of labor.

2. If research strategies involve the development of early maturing cowpea
varieties, some attention needs to be given to how this will affect
household labor allocation at different points in the agricultural cycle.

In particular, where women have a dual responsibility to work on the
family field and on their own plots, the introduction of changes in the
crop cycle may produce conflicts that can undermine the success of the
proposed innovations. For example, if women's work is needed in the
family fields at the same time when early maturing varieties of cowpeas
require tending, it is likely that this will take a lower priority than
work on the family field. This suggests that agricultural production
needs should be viewed in their entirety in order to assure that the
project innovations will not interfere with other enterprises.

3. Small farmers do not usually hire laborers, but often may work as laborers
on larger farms. For example, during the dead season in agriculture, men
from the Mandara Mountains migrate to the Plains in search of employment.
In cases where these and other hired laborers work fields they along with
the farm owner need to be appraised of innovations. Also, in data
gathering it should be borne in mind that observed field practices may be
those of the laborers and not the owners.

4. In many areas the responsibility for the control of predators in fields
falls to children and older people. Where chemical means of controlling
insects have been introduced (i.e., in cotton production) it appears that
males (or male extension agents) are responsible for spraying. Cotton,
however, is a cash crop grown primarily under the direction of men. If
inputs such as insecticides were in fact available and safe for use on
food crops, it is not clear who would be responsible for their application.
Men may be reluctant to allow women access to this technology or may not
deem cowpeas of sufficient value to justify such inputs.

B. Technical Inputs

A discussion of technical inputs is especially important given that many
experiments conducted by the project have focused on the feasibility of using
various types of insecticides and sprayers as a means of reducing insect damage
and increasing cowpea yields. It is of special concern that proposed innova-
tions, techniques and technologies be appropriate to the small farm context.
In this regard it is necessary to interject a note of caution regarding some of
the project's working assumptions and strategies as these are reflected in the
1982 experiments. A number of points deserve comment:

1. It is increasingly recognized that technical innovations such as
insecticides often require an array of other resources for safe utiliza-
tion. With regard to chemical products these include access to a plentiful
water supply to wash off residues, gloves and other protective equipment
and means of disposing of containers so that they are not "recycled" to use
as food containers. While some small farmers may have access to insecti-
cides, these other inputs are beyond the means of the majority of the popu-
lation in Northern Cameroon. In these situations the use of insecticides
may present serious risks to health and to the environment. For instance,
deGarine (1978) reports that water resources have become polluted and
aquatic fauna killed as a result of insecticide use on cotton. At issue,
then is not only the safety characteristics of the products themselves (low
mammalian toxicity) but also the broader social context in which they will
be employed.

2. It needs to be demonstrated that appropriate insecticides are in fact
readily available to small cowpea producing households in the North.
Reliance on the parastatal SODECOTON as a-source of products for use on
cowpeas is questionable. Do non-SODECOTON participants have access to
sprays and products from this organization? Even within the SODECOTON
clientage, are cotton farmers also cowpea growers? If SODECOTON is to
serve as a source of insecticides it should be shown that there is indeed
an overlap between cotton and cowpea producing families and that the
organization is willing to disseminate products to non-clients. Other
sources of appropriate inputs for small farms may also need to be sought.

In this regard, a study of the Minagri Extension Services carried out in
conjunction with the Mandara Mountains/Michigan State University survey
deserves mention. Harley (n.d.) draws attention to the inability of these
extension agents to do their jobs because they lack access to means of
transportation, supplies, machinery and petrol. He reports that Managri
insecticide sprayers were either inoperable or could not be used because
the regional office did not supply local services with appropriate mixes.
Zalla, et al. (1981) report that because SODECOTON is able to recruit the
best trained extension agents and because it has a virtual monopoly over
access to agricultural inputs, its effect is to undermine the Ministry of
Agriculture extension program.

It has also been suggested that Catholic or Protestant Missions serve as
disseminators of technological innovations, including insecticide and
improved seed varieties. Reeves (1972) notes that missions have redefined
their roles to be more instrumental in promoting rural development. He
points out, however, that mission employees are seldom aware of the
agricultural practices and customs of their constituencies. Moreover,
innovations might be distributed only to members of the congregation thus
creating ill feelings among the non-member population. (This might
especially affect the large Islamic populations of Northern Province.)
Thus, if Mission stations are to act as technology disseminators care
needs to be taken to ensure that non-members also have access.

3. A distinguishing characteristic of the division of labor by gender within
farming households in Cameroon and other parts of Africa concerns the use
of agricultural implements. Certain tools and inputs may be regarded as
most appropriately used by males while others (often hand tools) are seen
as the domain of women. In some cases sanctions exist which prevent
females from using male implements and vice versa. These types of
considerations have direct implications for the design of pest management
strategies. For example, are proposed procedures and implements to
control pests compatible with these cultural expectations or will they
induce a shift in work roles? If there is a shift, what are the effects
on the household in general and women's roles in agricultural production
in particular?

In a related vein, the literature on farming systems in Cameroon suggests
that inputs used in cash crop production may not be deemed acceptable or
necessary for food crop production. Families who readily use insecticides

on cotton and other cash crops may not use them on vegetable crops, even
if they are safe, appropriate and increase yields. This is even more
likely to be the situation in areas where there are clear distinctions
between men's and women's crops or fields.

These factors suggest that the development of insect resistant cowpea
cultivars with locally desirable seed types may be preferable to use of
insecticides and other such inputs.

Finally, it should be noted that efforts to reduce cowpea losses from pest
infestations during storage also involve a consideration of women. The litera-
ture reviewed previously indicates that women usually maintain their own
granaries separate from those of their husbands and co-wives. Again, means to
reduce storage losses that involve development of a "loose seed trait" or
treatment with locally available vegetable oils are preferable to more
sophisticated technological inputs which may be monopolized or controlled by
men or be beyond the reach of small farmers.

C. Food and Nutrition

As Bean/Cowpea CRSP projects have as their ultimate aim a reduction in
hunger and malnutrition, food and nutrition issues are of central concern.
With regard to Cameroon, the UCLA nutrition survey (1978) indicated that women
in the North are the most poorly nourished in the country. It is anticipated
that with greater availability of high protein cowpeas to augment a grain
based diet, improved nutritional levels can be achieved. Certain points
concerning the adoption of improved cowpea varieties are already being taken
into account by the project research team: cowpea taste, color, cooking time
and protein-content characteristics. Certain other points concerning the role
of cowpeas in the diet also merit consideration:

1. What is the role, if any, of cowpea leaves in the diet? If these are
eaten at certain stages of plant growth, improved varieties and pest
management strategies should be designed taking leaf characteristics into

2. Are cowpeas a staple food eaten on a regular basis with grains, or are
they considered a "hunger" food to be consumed when no meat or other
protein source is available? It is unclear from the project reports
whether new seed varieties will be chemically treated before being
dispersed to farmers. Campbell and Trechter (1982) report that seed is
sometimes eaten when there is a shortage of food. In this context if seed
has been chemically treated, serious hazards to health may result.

3. What is the role of cowpeas in the diet of children? Trechter (1981)
notes that children in the North eat millet or sorghum pap after they are
weaned and before they participate in the full family diet. If cowpeas
are also used to feed children at this critical stage in their
development, care should be taken to ascertain locally desirable cowpea
characteristics for child feeding.

The literature on nutrition in the North does not provide answers to these
questions. It is likely, in fact, that there is no single answer and that a
diversity of practices exists with regard to each of these issues. This area
of inquiry would have to be pursued through on-site surveys.

D. Education and Training

Several issues need to be considered with regard to the project's goal of
training students and technicians for entomological research. Given the low
level of educational attainment in the North, it is possible that some of the
people who may be trained to undertake this research will come from the South.
If this is the case, such trainees will be from different ethnic backgrounds
than the ones represented in the North and may be unable to communicate in the
local languages. Should on-farm interactions be a part of research and train-
ing, strategies will have to be developed to deal with this problem.

As the literature indicates, women have received less formal education in
the North than in other parts of the country. The fact that women with the
requisite training may be fewer here than elsewhere means that added efforts
will have to be given to locate and recruit them. In on-farm interviewing
regarding cowpea production and cropping systems, women interviewers should be
utilized as males may have difficulty in gaining access to complete informa-
tion. Information presented below suggests some organizations in Cameroon
that could be contacted in recruiting qualified women to participate in the
research program.

IV. Women's Organizations and Women-in Development in Cameroon

The information presented earlier on women's roles in agricultural
production has been drawn from secondary source material. Of equal if not
greater importance is information from Cameroonian women themselves. A number
of women's organizations have been identified and deserve further investigation
as potential sources for information and possible consultants for the
Bean/Cowpea project:

1. There is a Woman's Service in the Ministry of Agriculture.

2. In the Community Development Service, extension work concentrates on
women's development projects.

3. There is a women's wing of the political party that sponsors workshops and
training programs.

4. In Yaounde there is a Sub-Regional Committee on the Integration of Women
in Development called Multinational Programming and Operational Center
(MULPOC)that has organized a series of national seminars in various pro-
vinces which teach techniques of project and economic planning.


The literature on nutrition in the North does not provide answers to these
questions. It is likely, in fact, that there is no single answer and that a
diversity of practices exists with regard to each of these issues. This area
of inquiry would have to be pursued through on-site surveys.

D. Education and Training

Several issues need to be considered with regard to the project's goal of
training students and technicians for entomological research. Given the low
level of educational attainment in the North, it is possible that some of the
people who may be trained to undertake this research will come from the South.
If this is the case, such trainees will be from different ethnic backgrounds
than the ones represented in the North and may be unable to communicate in the
local languages. Should on-farm interactions be a part of research and train-
ing, strategies will have to be developed to deal with this problem.

As the literature indicates, women have received less formal education in
the North than in other parts of the country. The fact that women with the
requisite training may be fewer here than elsewhere means that added efforts
will have to be given to locate and recruit them. In on-farm interviewing
regarding cowpea production and cropping systems, women interviewers should be
utilized as males may have difficulty in gaining access to complete informa-
tion. Information presented below suggests some organizations in Cameroon
that could be contacted in recruiting qualified women to participate in the
research program.

IV. Women's Organizations and Women-in Development in Cameroon

The information presented earlier on women's roles in agricultural
production has been drawn from secondary source material. Of equal if not
greater importance is information from Cameroonian women themselves. A number
of women's organizations have been identified and deserve further investigation
as potential sources for information and possible consultants for the
Bean/Cowpea project:

1. There is a Woman's Service in the Ministry of Agriculture.

2. In the Community Development Service, extension work concentrates on
women's development projects.

3. There is a women's wing of the political party that sponsors workshops and
training programs.

4. In Yaounde there is a Sub-Regional Committee on the Integration of Women
in Development called Multinational Programming and Operational Center
(MULPOC)that has organized a series of national seminars in various pro-
vinces which teach techniques of project and economic planning.


5. The Organisation des femmes de l'union national Camerounaise (OFUNC) was
established in 1966 and has a membership of over 700,000 women. Its
activities include the encouragement of primary education for girls and
women, assistance in hospitals and clinics, the establishment of social
centers with educational programs and the organization of women's groups
for community development.

The growing awareness of the role of women in economic development is also
reflected in Cameroon's fifth Five-Year Economic, Social and Cultural Develop-
ment Plan, 1981-86. According to this document, women's issues will be
addressed more specifically than they have been in the past. Several programs
and policies merit highlighting because of their potential relevance to the
Bean/Cowpea CRSP project:

1. Nutritional education programs are being designed as a part of a national
campaign for the improvement of weaning techniques and family feeding.

2. Women are seen as target groups in rural development programs focusing on
food crops, fertilizers, livestock breeding and other agriculturally
related issues.

3. Women are being encouraged to participate in production, food preservation
ano marketing cooperatives and greater efforts are being made to
incorporate them in decision-making processes in these organizations.

4. Women are being encouraged to participate in the young farmer's training
programs of the National Office for Participation in Development.

5. More females are being trained in agricultural schools to become
agricultural demonstrators.

6. More credit is being made available to women under the FOGAPE program.

7. Applied agricultural research will focus to a greater extent on female
farmers and the resulting information will be disseminated to these
farmers. Research projects currently envisioned or underway concern food-
stuff production, use of fertilizers, methods of preserving and packaging
foodstuffs, small animal veterinary research, pollution and product quality
control, new energy sources, sociological research aimed at improving
women's living conditions.

The Plan also pays particular attention to the training of female
researchers and to the increased involvement of women in data collection

All this suggests that within Cameroon itself there are many resources and
potential means to assist the Bean/Cowpea Institut de Recherche Agronomique/
University of Georgia project in its incorporation of women as farmers and as

The foregoing comments illustrate the specific roles and activities of
women in Cameroon. Their participation in agricultural production was shown
as essential to the economic and social needs of both the family and the
community. For a more extensive exploration of these points, we refer you to
the selected and annotated bibliography which follows.


This bibliography is a selected guide to materials available on women's
work in agricultural production, food processing and marketing in Cameroon.
It draws on a number of previously-existing bibliographies and data sources
such as Dissertation Abstracts International, Sociological Abstracts, the
Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Agricola (CAIN), Resources in Education
(ERIC) and others.

Africa South of the Sahara. 13th edition. London: Europa Publications,
Ltd., 1983.

An analyses of physical and social geography and of the economy are set
forth followed by a statistical survey which provides an economic profile
of the country. A directory provides data on the government, the press,
finance, trade and industry, transport, etc., and a brief bibliography
concludes the country description. This volume offers general and
statistical overviews of all the countries of Africa. No specific
information on women is included.

Ardener, Shirley. "The Comparative Study of Rotating Credit Associations."
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and
Irelana, Vol. 94 (1964): 201-231.

A scholarly investigation of rotating credit associations which seeks to
define what they are and to describe how they operate. Uses Cameroonian
examples. Is useful to this review as rotating credit associations are an
important savings mechanism among women in many parts of Cameroon.
(Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

"Sexual Insult and Female Militancy" in Shirley Ardner (ed.)
Perceiving Women. London: Malaby Press, Ltd., 1975.

Describes the group action taken by women in the Bakweri, Balong and Kom
tribes against sexual insults directed at women. This activity is called
anlu among the Kom. Ardener's lively description of the famous occasion
in 1958 when over 6,000 women used the anlu mechanism to protest against
the then British government's policies which they considered detrimental
to women is based on Cameroonian source documents which are otherwise

Arouna, N'Sangou. Secteur Refuge et Developpement Economique au Cameroun.
Yaounde: ONAREST, Ish No. 6, 1977.

This reference to Arouna's work is the most recent and accessible
product of his interest in the economic and social concerns involved in
the providing of Yaounde with foodstuffs. His work is highly relevant to
the review as both the producers and traders involved are primarily women.
Arouna is concerned with the circuits for the distribution of foodstuffs,
the relationships between producers and traders (Buy 'em, Sell 'em), and

the best means of reforming the circuits. He rejects the philosophy that
the middlepersons are excessively exploiting both the producers and ulti-
mate purchasers. He believes that the price differential from field to
market is due primarily to the costs involved in collecting small amounts
of food from widely dispersed producers, moving the products on an expen-
sive and unreliable transport system and insuring that the foodstuffs
arrive for sale in marketable condition. In his opinion, the persons
involved in this process are providing a valuable social service under
difficult conditions, and themselves have few (if any) alternative means
of earning a living. He suggests that improving the transport system and
establishing wholesale markets in Yaounde to counter any excessive prices
would be the best means of dealing with the problems rather than replacing
the traders by a centralized marketing organization. (Annotation from
Bryson, 1979)

Atlas de la Repulique du Cameroon. Paris: Editions Jeune Afrique, 1979.

The atlas provides a fine set of maps and discussions on various factors
covering life in Cameroon. Some of these include relief and hydrography,
climate, vegetation, soils, ethnicity and language, population, agricul-
ture, communication, education, etc. No specific information on women is

Bah, A., M. Milonevic and B. Tiotsop. Strategie de Ddveloppement Regional
Intqgre: Le Projet Vivrier Des Z.A.P.I. de l'Est. Douala: PAID, 1973.

Description and evaluation of the food crop production projects of the
Z.A.P.I. of the Eastern Region. Contains information on the role of women
in food crop production (which is predominant except for land-clearing
which is done by men) and the constraints on improving their situation in
the rural milieu. Reports that a project in the Eastern Province designed
to increase the production and commercialization of food crops produced by
women was opposed by men in the area because they were afraid the women
would use their income to pay back the bridewealth. (Annotation from
Bryson, 1979)

Bielenberg, Carl. A Preliminary Survey of the Applications of Appropriate
Technology in the North Province of Cameroon. USAID/Yaounde (1978).

Report based on a short survey of potential needs and applications of
appropriate technology in North Cameroon. Information pertaining to women
relates primarily to economics of traditional cotton spinning and weaving
practiced by women as well as potential for using solar power for cooking
(to lessen burden of collecting firewood). Also discusses certain other
items which would be useful to women. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Boserup, Ester. Woman's Role in Economic Development. New York: St. Martin's
Press, 1970.

Boserup's work is the first major economic study to focus specifically on
the role of women in economic development. It provides useful assistance

in the task of preparing an analysis of women's economic roles and
problems in a particular country by indicating areas where women may have
an important role and the difficulties they may be encountering. Her
description of women's role in agriculture and the economics of polygamy
are especially pertinent to Cameroon. However, the Cameroon specific data
she presents on p. 21 for work input by men and women in agriculture is
misleading as it was apparently drawn from Guillard's study among the
Toupouri where men do more work in food crop production than they do in
most other parts of Cameroon. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Bot, Henneke. Promotion Feminine au Cameroun. Yaounde: E.N.S.A. 1974.

The author (a Dutch exchange student at E.N.S.A.) describes the programs
for the advancement of women in the Z.A.P.I. (Zones d'Action Prioritaires
Integrees) as she found them in June-December 1973. Bot outlines the
overall program of the Z.A.P.I., their goals and their administrative
structure. She then describes a seminar held for the women in the 4
Z.A.P.I. in the Central South Province, and the program of the animatrice
in the Zoetele Z.A.P.I. In the course of these descriptions, she points
out difficulties with the programs (insufficient practical work with the
village women, lack of time spent on agricultural work and lack of train-
ing in agriculture by the animatrice who was the principal contact with
the women, lack of personnel, only one animatrice for an area which
included approximately 4,000 adult women as compared to one extension
agent for every 250 male farmers, inputs for food crop farming such as
fertilizer sold at usual retail rates with no provision for credit). Bot
also makes some suggestions for improving the situation. (Annotation from
Bryson, 1979)

Boulet, Jean. Magoumaz, Pays Mafa (Nord Cameroun). Paris: ORSTOM, Mouton and
Co., 1975.

Report on field research carried out in the Mandara Mountains from December
1965-January 1967. Four months, from December 1965-March 1966, were spent
making a general survey of the Mandara Mountains and especially the six
mountains in the Magoumaz Valley. The population of the Magoumaz area was
estimated at more than 4,400 persons or a density of 245 persons per square
kilometer. In addition to preparing a series of maps, a study was made of
the number of hours spent in various occupations by both men and women and
of agricultural yields. Figures on the number of hours worked were
collected only for the months of April-December as January-March is the
height of the dry season and no agricultural work is done. For most of
the year, the number of hours worked by women exceeded that of men and
both sexes worked very long hours, especially in May, June and July when
both worked around 50 hours per week. The hours worked by women are
particularly notable when one considers that men's agricultural work took
84% of their working time while women spent many additional hours grinding
grain, collecting wood and water and cooking. The yields were sufficient
to cover the nutritional requirements of the populus. Cash income of the
families was very limited and was derived primarily from sales of ground-
nuts. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Bouman, F. J. A. and K. Harteveld. "The Djanggi, A Traditional Form of Saving
and Credit in West Cameroon." Sociologia Ruralis, Vol. 16 (1976):

The study of indigenous rotating credit associations in the Third World
has recently received fresh attention because of their potential role in
rural development. Research has barely touched on the more technical
details of the issuing and recovery of credit. In an area where tradi-
tional financial systems have met with failure, the tremendous success of
the djanggi--a savings and loan system--is noteworthy. Djanggi is more
than an ancient economic institution, incorporating much of West Cameroon's
systems of tradition, sociality, education and recreation. It is an
association of 10 to 30 members who, under chosen leadership, take turns at
receiving goods, services and money from the rest of the group which must
be returned to the donors before the recipient has had his turn. Its
flexibility and adaptive potential have enabled villagers to cope with the
problems of security, costs, fraud and controls, and above all with the
increasing demands of a changing society. In the final analysis this
institution seems ideally suited to carry a community through the initial
stages of socioeconomic transition. It thus offers a sound alternative to
modern cooperatives and credit unions struggling with complexity and
formality of organization and procedures. (Annotation from Sociological

Boutrais, Jean. La Colonisation des Plaines par les Montagnards au Nord du
Cameroun (Monts Mandara). Paris: ORSTOM, 1973.

Boutrais collected information on the experience of the mountain tribes who
settled in the plains in North Cameroon and the interaction between the
tribes and the ethnic groups already inhabiting the plains area. The study
also analyzes information collected and presented in a number of other
studies made prior to the time. Considerable information is provided on
agricultural practices and social relationships. (Annotation from Bryson,

Brain, Robert. Bangwa Kinship and Marriage. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1972.

Study based on two field trips to former West Cameroon in 1965 and 1967
comprising a total of 20 months. The Bangwa are Bamileke chiefdoms who
were on the English side of the French/English division of former German
Kamerun following World War I. While Bangwa and Bamilekes still share the
same basic culture, the contrasting colonial policies had created consider-
able differences between them. For example, the marriage wardship system
which provided the basis for much of the wealth and power of chiefs had
been retained by the Bangwa while it had been abolished among the Bamileke
by the French Government. Brain indicates that women were totally respon-
sible for agriculture, they even cleared the land or arranged for it to be
cleared (sometimes by sons or by daughters' fiancees). Women also organ-
ized the internal trade in food crops and local produce and their children
helped them with these activities. Notes that a woman and her children
constitute a clearly separate unit within the family compound; if a woman

dies, her children will be raised by her matrikin and not by the co-wives.
While fathers are expected to provide such items as meat, salt, school
fees and clothing, mothers often are called upon to earn money to pay for
these items. Brain provides a full description of the patrilineal and
matrilineal kinship systems (which closely parallels the description of
Huralt for the Bamileke, reference 98) and clarifies the position of women
and their rights. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Bryson, Judy C. Women in Economic Development in Cameroon. Washington, D.C.:
AID, 1979.

While this study is broadly based incorporating women in rural and urban
areas, the section on women's role in agriculture and nutrition makes
several salient points.

Men in the south are mainly involved in cash crop production, while those
in the north balance their time equally in both cash and food crop pro-
duction. Concerning cocoa and coffee, women have played a minor productive
role in these crops. Bryson argues that marriage and divorce rules are a
disincentive to women to make long-term investments in these two crops.
Women help in the harvesting and drying of cocoa and in preparing food for
work parties. Women are also becoming more active in planting and in
ownership in certain areas. Tobacco, cotton and rice are crops which are
primarily grown in the north. Both men and women work in these. Concern-
ing tobacco, which appears to be primarily a male crop, among the Massa
and Toupouri it is cultivated only by women. Palm oil and peanuts are
grown both for subsistence and for sale. Men care for the palm trees but
both men and women process palm oil. Cultivation of peanuts varies from
group to group, but in general both the labor and profits are shared.

A combination of communal and individual food crop practices exist
throughout Cameroon. Men work in communal millet and sorghum fields and
women work in their own individual fields. Harvests are similarly divided,
with that of the communal field stored in a central granary representing a
reserve surplus, while that of the women's fields is stored in a household
granary and used for daily food supplies.

Since women have other responsibilities in the household beyond food
production, the total area they cultivate is smaller than that of males.
However, most women are able to meet the nutritional needs of their
families through their own production and also have some as surplus to

The agriculture calendar varies throughout the country as does the type of
crop planted. In the south, maize, yam, cassava, taro and Irish potatoes
supply the staple, and groundnuts, palm oil, peas, beans, pepper, melons,
green beans, tomatoes, etc., provide both protein and vitamins. Planting
is staggered within the parameters set by weather and soil so that har-
vesting is continual. In the north, sorghum and millet provide the staple
with groundnuts and similar vegetable crops, as in the south, meeting
dietary requirements. Root crops, rice and maize are growing in importance
in the north.

The highest nutritional value crops are grown by women--beans, peas,
groundnuts. Women are responsible for almost all food processing--
grinding cereals, boiling and pounding root crops, processing of palm oil,
grinding groundnuts into paste, etc. Nutritional shortfalls occur as a
result of seasonal dietary imbalances, too high a proportion of the harvest
being sold, the amount of other work women must do, food taboos, certain
cultural rituals, etc.

An annotated bibliography of works on women in Cameroon concludes the
book. The author indicates which sources are available in Cameroon.

Buys, Dieke. Les Buyem-Sellem--Une Etude sur la Commercialisation Des Vivres
Par Des Buyem Sellem Dans La Lekie. Yaounde: E.N.S.A., 1975.

Dieke Buys' study is based on field work carried out between August, 1974
and March, 1975. It is an excellent study which explains how the trade in
food products operates from the fields where they are produced through the
local and regional markets to the urban markets in Yaounde and in the
process provides a framework for understanding how the cities are provi-
sioned from an essentially traditional agricultural system. At each level,
Buys interviewed the agents concerned who were mainly women. Her report
includes details of how the traders operate, how prices are set, con-
straints on the volume traded, problems of traders, profits realized and
the characteristics of the traders operating at the different levels.
(Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Cameroon. "Direction de la Statistique." Preliminary figures from the 1976
Population Census.

Information provided included the breakdown of the population by Province
and Department showing the relative numbers of men and women in urban and
rural areas in each case; figures on economically active women by pro-
fessional categories, with breakdown into 5 year age groups, shown both as
a total and for rural and urban areas separately; total population broken
down by year of age and sex. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Cameroon. "Activities in Brief and Plan for 1977/82." Ministry of
Agriculture, Department of Community Development, Women's Service.

Describes the program of work and plans of the service concerned.
(Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Cameroon. "Organisation des Femmes de l'Union National Camerounaise (OFUNC)."
Papers of the Second and Fourth OFUNC Council Meetings held in Yaounde in
January 1971 and January 1977, respectively.

Provides information on OFUNC analysis of various aspects of women's
situation in Cameroon (Family Planning, Family Budgets, Agricultural Role,
Integration of Women in Development) and their programs and resolutions for
improving the condition of women. Attention is drawn to the fact that
most programs for women are of a home economics type stressing their roles
as wives and mothers. Also advice provided by agricultural extension

agents is often neglected because it is given to men rather than to women
who farm the majority of the agricultural labor force. (Annotation from
Bryson, 1979)

Cameroon. Visages de la femme Camerounaise. Yaounde: OFUNC, AGRACAM, N.D.

Prepared in the mid 1970's, this report provides up-to-date general
information on all aspects of women's lives in Cameroon--participation in
economic development, social life, politics, legal status, employment,
etc. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Campbell, David and James C. Riddell. "Patterns of Land Tenure and Land Use in
the Mandara Mountains of North Cameroon." Mandara Mountain Research
Reports, No. 15. East Lansing: Michigan State University, 1981.

This report details the history of population movements (attributable to
conflicts among the ethnic groups) in the Mandara Mountain region of
Cameroon. Population in the mountainous area was highly concentrated and
land was intensively cultivated through a system of terraces. During the
last fifty years the population has begun to move down to the plateau in
response to administrative pressures and controls on Fulani raiding. The
authors contend that the re-location has occurred within the traditional
lano tenure framework but has altered patterns of land use both in the
lowlands (where conflicts with herders are now common) and in the mountains
(where terracing has become less frequent). Both of these trends foster
increased erosion and decreased production yields. Traditional patterns
of land tenure and inheritance involved each son receiving more or less
equal shares of land from his father with either the eldest or youngest
son expected to take over his father's compound. Rights to use land could
also be rented or borrowed from other lineages. The authors note that this
system is "relatively unique" in Africa because each plot of land has its
specific owner, although this is not private property per se. Nothing is
said about women's roles in agricultural production or their access to

Campbell, David and David D. Trechter. "Strategies for Coping with Food
Consumption Shortage in the Mandara Mountains Region of North Cameroon."
Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 16 (1982): 2117-2127.

Current means of monitoring food consumption shortages tend to be expensive
and not adapted to identifying village or local level shortages. The
authors suggest that the behavioral responses of rural populations can be
used as indicators of impending food shortages. They conducted a study of
behavioral responses to food shortages of males and females in three
Cameroonian villages in the Mandara Mountain area. The villages were
selected to represent the ecological/ethnic zones of the mountains and
plateau. Within each village 20 households were randomly selected and both
men and women were interviewed. The region itself is given over primarily
to subsistence agriculture with the principal crops being millet, sorghum,
cowpeas, groundnuts and fruits and vegetables that vary with locale. Three
levels of food shortage were identified: Stage I--the soudure which occurs

annually prior to the harvest (June, July-September-October), is a time of
relative food shortage. Stage II--while grains, etc., are still available
for purchase in local markets, this is a time of shortage characterized by
the breakdown of cooperative efforts and the liquidization of capital to
deal with deficits. Stage III--is a state of famine precipitated by war,
drought, pests and natural disasters. Findings were that behavioral
responses differed by degree of food deficit and that within these para-
meters male and female responses varied. Stage I (soudure)-- Women
reported a greater variety of responses than men suggesting that women are
more directly concerned with overcoming the shortage than are men. Women
sought help from relatives and friends in the form of gifts or loans of
food or money. They also reduced the size of food portions and reported
not eating for a day at a time. Men sold or slaughtered livestock to
purchase food. This appeared to be the most common response across the 3
villages. State II--(Households were asked how they responded to a very
bad harvest any time during the last 10 years). The overall strategy
differed from the soudure; it included family assistance, gathering wild
food, food purchase, migration, selling of livestock, special plantings
and selling food. Again there was a difference by sex. Women tended to
plant special foods and to use food reserves while men tended to rely on
migration (sale of labor). Males, however, took more action than during
the soudure suggesting that in more severe shortages both females and males
are involved. The authors contend that Stage II represents the point at
which monitoring interventions should take place.

Conclusions are that a hierarchy of responses to food deficits exists.
First actions in this region were to sell livestock, borrow food or money
and look to the family for assistance. This is followed by gathering wild
foods, migration. In this sequence males and females tend to respond
differently with males becoming involved especially at Stage II. These
responses can be monitored by local authorities and used to target official
food relief programs and efforts in time of severe shortage. The authors
note, however, that structural changes in food production systems in this
and other regions are required if the people are to be able to support

Champaud, Jacques. Mon, Terroir Bassa. Paris: ORSTOM, 1973.

Study of Bassa agricultural system in the village of Mon (population 668)
located near Makak in the Central-South, based on field research carried
out between July 1963 and February, 1964. In addition to mapping the
size, ownership, value and type of agricultural landholdings and other
features of the area (railroad, principal roads, trails, houses, etc.)
also considered are the geneologies of the principal families and the
social organization in so much as they related to the present agricultural
structure. Interesting features of his data are the detailing of the
number of female headed households in the area--27 out of 125 or approxi-
mately 20%. Nineteen of the female family heads were food farmers, 5 were
cocoa planters and 3 were traders. The cash income per capital of house-
holds headed by female food farmers was slightly higher than that of male
food farmer headed households due to larger sales of food crops. Notes

that production of food crops is almost entirely the affair of women--each
active woman cultivates on average 42 ares. Provides data on agricultural
methods, the agricultural calendar, and crops cultivated. Also provides
information on a women's saving association he studied in Mon made up of
51 women from the same clan. As one woman stated that she had used her
collection to set up a trade in smoked fish and others had used it for
children's school fees, there was evidence that at least some of the women
were using their savings for development purposes. (Annotation from
Bryson, 1979)

Clignet, Remi. "Social Change and Sexual Differentiation." Signs, Vol. 3
(1977): 244-260.

The author hypothesizes that changes in the status of women are rooted in
both the traditional view of women expressed in each society and the
stereotypic view different colonizers had of their subject peoples.

In a footnote the author notes that more women in the north have attended
Koranic then European schools so that they have had a more traditional
education. Girls who attend European schools are more apt to be from
"modern" families. Low participation of girls in technical streams seems
to reflect a sterotypic sex bias against women in these fields. Women's
occupations after schooling also reflect these biases, are lower in pay,
and are of a less risk-taking nature than those of men.

Clignet, Remi and Joyce A. Sween. "For a Revisionist Theory of Human
Polygyny." Signs, Vol. 6 (1981): 445-468.

The scanty literature on plural marriage is criticized and the limitations
are noted of analysis that treat such an institution only as a culturally
variant form of the nuclear family or explain it from an exclusively male
perspective. Explanations of polygyny require an exploration of the origin
and behaviors of individual polygynous co-wives. The issue of the
distinction between power and authority in the domestic context is
analyzed, based on a review of secondary sources and analysis of West
Cameroonian census materials. Relations between husband and co-wives and
among co-wives depend not only on the social significance imputed to
differences in their respective backgrounds, but also on the social
visibility imputed to the tasks that each individual is performing for the
welfare of the familial group as a whole and its individual members. It
is concluded that polygyny is not necessarily an instrument of male
dominance over women and that, under specific circumstances, it limits the
contacts of one or several co-wives with husbands and provides each woman
with more opportunities to pursue her own goals. Noting that such con-
clusions may be influenced by the individualization of roles that
accompanies social change, it is suggested that the liberation of women
cannot be universal but depends rather on strategies suited to local and
historical circumstances. (Annotation from Sociological Abstracts)

Courade, C. and G. Courade. Education in Anglophone Cameroon (1915-1975).
Yaounde: ONAREST, Ish. No. 3, 1977.

This study provides a description of the school system in former West
Cameroon (currently Northwest and Southwest Provinces) from its beginning
to 1975. The survey also highlights differences between the school system
created under the British colonial administration and that which resulted
from French administration in the rest of Cameroon. With respect to
women, data are provided on the numbers of women teachers in the system
and map 8 illustrates of the differences which exist within the two
provinces in the percentage of girls in the school population. The report
also briefly discusses the situation of women in secondary education noting
that girls account for 40 percent of students in primary school, one third
of those in the first cycle of secondary school and only one eighth of
those in the second cycle and at university level. (Annotation from
Bryson, 1979)

deGarine, Igor. "Approaches to the Study of Food and Prestige in Savannah
Tribes-Massa and Mussey of Northern Cameroon and Chad." Social Science
Information, Vol. 19 (1980): 39-78.

This article reports on research among the non-Islamic Plains populations
carried out during eight field missions between 1958-77. The populations
surveyed live along the Logone River, 250kms south of N'djamena. All are
agro-pastoral, number about 150,000 members each and are engaged in a
mixed food production system. Included are agriculture, animal husbandry,
fishing and hunting activities. Emphasis varies by group. Among the
Massa, cattle are central to society. The staple is early red sorghum and
fishing is important. The Mussey are primarily farmers. Their staple is
early red sorghum but also important are millet, finger millet, pulses
(cowpeas) and sesame. Animal husbandry and fishing do not play as
important a role. The Tupuri grow three cereal crops. Staples are red
and pricked white sorghum.

The introduction of cash crops over the last thirty years has influenced
the food economy of these peoples through increased monitarization and
extensive cultivation of a new staple (rice) grown primarily among the
northern Massa. Among the Mussey and Tupuri the primary cash crop is
cotton. Its cultivation reduces the amount of time spent on food crop

The local diets are subject to seasonal fluxion with the lowest level of
nutrition occurring in the rainy season (August-September). Overall,
however nutritional levels are described as adequate with most calories
coming from cereals and proteins from animal sources (cattle, milk, fish)
and pulses.

As the three groups all occupy the same basic ecological region, the author
argues against materialist or cultural ecological models because these
cannot adequately explain the differences in food habits between the
populations. He contends that the environment provides the theme but that
each group develops its own variations and remains distinct from its

neighbors. Attention is drawn to the role of food in ritual and prestige
activities and to the role of food taboos in social differentiation. In
none of the three populations are food taboos said to have an important
nutritional impact.

The influence of outsiders on local food habits is also considered. Three
external forces are discussed: Western models transmitted by white collar
minorities from Southern Cameroon; Fulani who are heavily backed by the
central government and are the main trend setters; and the influence of
other neighboring traditional groups. In general, certain foods such as
red sorghum have come to be regarded as backwards while others such as
white sorghum and rice are viewed as modern. The author concludes by
noting that ecological, geographic and genetic factors are losing their
importance as compared to economic and budgetary factors. He sees ethnic
variation in dietary habits being replaced by socio-economic or class
differences. Tables on prestige activities and foods, gastronomy,
environmental characteristics, examples of daily food consumption, food
production are provided for the three populations.

deGarine, Igor. Les Massa du Cameroun. Paris: Presses Universitaires de
France, 1964.

deGarine's study is based on field research carried out over 14 months (in
1958-59) in 17 Massa villages in the department of Mayo-Danaye. He was
attempting to discover the nature of the social life of the Massa by
studying their economy especially the activities of production, techniques
used, results achieved, and the factors which determine how the production
is distributed and used. Provides a detailed description of the residences
of the Massa, the division of labor between men and women in various types
of production and information on contrasting life-styles of Massa living
in rural and urban areas. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

"Population, Production, and Culture in Plain Societies of
Northern Cameroon and Chad--Anthropologist in Development Projects."
Current Anthropology, Vol. 19 (1978): 42-57.

All of the societies the author studied (North and South Mosa, Tuburi, Kera
and Musey) operate in a mixed economy based on agriculture, animal
husbandry and fishing. While economic practices can be generalized across
groups, certain distinctions are noteworthy: the Northern Mosa are pri-
marily fishermen who practice sedentary animal husbandry and who cultivate
red sorghum in the rainy season. The Tuburi and Kera also cultivate rainy-
season sorghum, practice the same type of animal husbandry as the northern
Mosa and occasionally fish in the dry season. The Southern Mosa grow a
late variety of sorghum. The Musey are bush-clearers, plant in furrows
and cultivate the rainy-season varieties of red sorghum, bulrush millet,
beans, ground peas, sesame, false sesame, sweet potato and cassava. Musey
in the flood zone grow eleusene, transplanted sorghum and rice. They keep
cattle, fish seasonally and hunt fairly often. Sheep, goats and fowl are
in fair abundance in all groups. Population densities range from 18 per
km2 for the Musey to 60 per km2 for the Tuburi and Kera. The Musey
organize their settlements and fields in concentric circles, with the

patrilineally-organized homestead in the center, food crops (sorghum,
maize, legumes and vegetables) in the closer circle and secondary food
crops (early sorghum, rice) in an outer circle. Beyond this there is

A study of nutritional needs conducted in 1959 found that caloric needs
are 115% satisfied except in July when they fall to 81%. Daily sorghum
consumption is between 500 and 800 g. Total protein consumption is 132%
of that required with animal protein consumption very low--about 40% of
needs. Serious food shortages occur in July, August and sometimes

To reduce population pressures, temporary labor migration by males occurs
during the dead period in agricultural work. Wages earned help in saving
for bride payments and allow families to purchase food and other

Cotton is the main cash crop grown by most people. Fertilizer applied to
the soil to enhance cotton growth also helps the millet and sorghum crops
that follow cotton in rotation. Insecticides have polluted secondary water
resources resulting in the destruction of aquatic fauna. Peanuts were
earlier an obligatory cash crop but now are planted by choice. They pro-
vide most of the fat consumed in rural diets and allow women to earn some
income. Rice growing is somewhat problematic among the Mosa because it
requires a year-long labor commitment, leaving no time for participation
in traditional social activities.

Interest in cash crops would not appear as high as it is in food crops.
Monetarization of food crops takes two forms: small-scale trade by women
to get added ingredients for relishes and for beer; purchase of cereals
during periods of shortage. Marketing of other products--cereals, live-
stock and fish--is largely in the hands of Islamic traders (the Fulbe).

The article concludes with a section on recommendations to development
organizations to improve production, taking into account the full range of
socio-cultural factors necessary to prevent radical social change.

DeLancey, Virginia. "Wage Earner and Mother: Compatibility of Roles on a
Cameroon Plantation" in Helen Ware (ed.) Women, Education and
Modernization of the Family in West Africa. Canberra: Australian
National Univ. Press, 1981.

This study was conducted in the Tole Tea Estates in the Southwest Province
of Cameroon. The author concludes that due to the positive value
orientations toward having children, wage labor and being a mother are
compatible. Less compatible is the husband-wife relationship as higher
wages received by females tend to promote conflict within the marriage

Delaroziere, R. "Les Institutions Politiques et Sociales des Populations
Bamieleke." Etudes Camerounaises, No. 25-26 (1949): 5-68 and No. 27-29
(1949): 127-176.

Delaroziere's study was the first general study of Bamileke social and
political institutions and remains the standard work on the traditional
society With respect to women, Delaroziere provides information on
the rights enjoyed by the class of women associated with the Fon: the mafo
who was the Fon's mother (sister or eldest daughter if his mother was deadT
and helped him to rule as well as enjoyed many personal rights, the Fon's
daughters, and the Fon's wives. Delaroziere also briefly describes two
women's organizations, the Mandjon which was a group of important women
who administered village work done by all women (clearing footpaths, etc.)
and organized cooperation in agricultural.work, and the Mansu which was an
agricultural society composed of the best cultivators. (Annotation from
Bryson, 1979)

den Ouden, J. H. B. "Incorporation and Changes in the Composite Household The
Effects of Coffee Introduction and Food Crop Commercialization in two
Bomileke Chiefdoms, Cameroon in Cleo Presvelou and Saskia Spykes-Zwart
(eds.) The Household, Women and Agricultural Development. Wageningen, The
Netherlands: H. Veenman and Zonen B. V., 1980.

After a detailed historical study in the western region, the author
presents the ways in which women were effected by commercialization of
agriculture as a result of colonialism and the activities of mission
societies. Conclusions reached include the following: 1. Due to
increased land scarcity and commercialization, women are being forbidden
cultivation rights in certain instances. 2. Women may obtain land for
cultivation in the vicinity of the old chiefdoms which puts them in a
stronger position in their home areas as they are able to grow and sell
what they produce. Thus commercialization of vegetable crops has helped
women grow financially stronger in areas where they have access to land.

Diarra, Fatoumata A. Perspectives de d6veloppement des d6partements autour de
Yaound6: Commercialisation des products vivriers de la Leki6 par les
Buyam-Sellam. 1974.

Diarra's study is based on a series of data collection activities carried
out from June-October 1974. Amounts of food being sold in two major
markets in Yaounde and the source of the foodstuffs was recorded. The Buy
'em Sell 'em (B.S.) in these markets were also interviewed. Subsequently,
regional markets were visited and both B.S. and producers in those places
were interviewed. As a result, Diarra is able to provide a description of
how food moves from the areas around Yaounde to the urban markets, the
organization of the markets, those of the B.S. and other important topics
such as the factors which go into determining the price of food. In
addition, she describes the problems of the actors (who are mainly women)
at each level in the food production and sales system. (Annotation from
Bryson, 1979)

Dupire, Marguerite. Organisation Sociale des Peuls. Paris: Plon, 1970.

Dupire's work is a comparison of those Fulbe societies which have been the
subject of first hand studies covering the essential aspects of their
social life rather than an exhaustive survey of all works on the Fulbe.
In order to point out the effects of differing economic and environmental
conditions, she has attempted to compare the social organization of nomadic
herders, settled agriculturalists and farmer/cattle raisers in her study.
Although Dupire herself has done some research work in Cameroon among the
Fulani, there is little Cameroon-specific information in the book.
However, the prevalence of certain forms of social organization among the
diverse groups she discusses is helpful in providing an indication of what
the situation among Fulani groups in Cameroon may be like and is a useful
starting point for further research. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

ECA/MULPOC. "Establishment of Sub-Regional Machinery to Enhance the Role of
Women in the Progress of Economic and Social Development in the Central
African Sub-Region and to Promote and Guide the Activities of the ECA's
Training and Research Centre for Women." Feb 27-March 3, 1978,

Provides a brief history of ECA programs for integrating women in
development including establishment of ATRCW. Describes activities of
ATRCW in the sub-regions and sets forth the recommended sub-regional
organization and its planned activities. Resolutions adopted at the
Regional Conference on the Implementation of National, Regional and World
Plans of Action for the Integration of Women in Development held in
Nouakchott, Mauratania September 27-October 2, 1977 are provided in the
annexes to the document. The Inaugural Meeting of the MULPOC Council of
Ministers held in Yaounde March 2-3, 1978 voted to accept the recommenda-
tions of the report and establish the Sub-Regional Machinery. (Annotation
from Bryson, 1979)

Eguchi, Miriam Joy. "Aspects of the Life Style and Culture of Women in the
Fulbe districts of Maroua." Kyoto University African Studies, Vol. 8
(1973): 17-92.

Eguchi lived in the Dougoi section of Maroua, a Fulbe neighborhood, from
November 1971 to March 1972 during which period she collected the material
for this paper. It is based on participant/observation of the life of the
women and as such provides a detailed description of their daily life,
social customs, cooking practices and income earning activities.
(Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Essang, S. M. and D. H. E. Oben. "Labor Absorption in Large-Scale
Agriculture--Case-Study of Cameroon Development Corporation Plantations."
Malayan Econ. Rev., Vol. 20 (1975).

The paper analyzes data on the growth rate of labor use in relation to the
growth rate of farm size and net output, on the intensity of labor use, on

the factors which influence the intensity of labor use, and on the
contributions of the C. D. C. plantations to the employment of educated
labor. Also examined is the mobility of labor from the densely populated
to the sparsely populated but land abundant part of the Cameroon
Republic. Labor power is not disaggregated by sex.

Fikry, Mona and Francois Tchala-Abina. "People and Water, Social Soundness
Analysis for the Mandara Mountains Water Resources Project for USAID/
Yaounde." March 3, 1978. Mimeographed.

Study made in November 1977-February 1978 to determine the social
feasibility of constructing 47 dams in the Mandara Mountains. Study
concerned with social aspects of water use, sanitation, community involve-
ment in construction and maintenance of dams, control of dam site, etc.
Fetching water is entirely the responsibility of women and the burdens of
collection increase dramatically as the dry season progresses (sources of
water become increasingly distant and may involve a roundtrip of 12-18 km;
the number of daily trips a woman has to make increases if the family keeps
animals). The women become very tired during this period and the whole
family suffers from irregular meals. When asked of their expectations of
the dam, many women planned to improve their financial position by using
the extra time which would be available for income earning activities.
They also thought of further reducing their burdens by using the extra
income to have their sorghum ground at a mill. (Annotation from Bryson,

Floyd, B. and L. Tandap. "Intensification of Agriculture in the Republique
unie du Cameroun." Geography, Vol. 65 (1980).

A brief overview of development projects and programs as they relate to
specific crops (rice and sugar are described) followed by an outline of
activities of FOMADER (The National Fund for Rural Development), those of
MIDEVIV (The Food Development Authority) and those of the Cameroon
Development Corporation. Since this is a comment on institutional
activities to increase production, no specific data is presented on women.

Frazier, Russell D. and Dawit Deguefu. "Agronomic Factors Limiting Crop
Production in the Mandara Mountains of Northern Cameroon. Mandara
Mountains Research Report, No. 9. East Lansing: Michigan State
University, Department of Agricultural Economics, 1980.

This is a general overview of the Margui-Wandala Department of Northern
Cameroon prepared by two crop and soil scientists from MSU during a two
week TDY to identify potential interventions to arrest soil fertility
decline and increase food and livestock production for small farmers.
Major constraints to crop and livestock production were: low soil fer-
tility, excess soil erosion, weeds, insects and diseases and poor cultural
practices. These authors felt that the system of terracing practiced by
farmers in the mountains was ineffectual in preventing soil erosion. They
point out that experimentation, extension services and mechanization in
the region are geared to the production of cotton which is coordinated by

SODECOTON, a business-oriented organization. The crucial problems of the
area are food shortages and malnutrition. They note that "It appears that
returns from cotton are not cycled to densely populated areas in the
mountains." Staple food crops are sorghum, millet with groundnuts and
cowpeas found to a lesser extent. Problems with fusarium root rot were
reported on cowpeas. There is no discussion of the division of labor by
sex; farmers are assumed to be male.

Froelich, J. C. "Le commandement et organization social chez les Foulbe
de l'Adamaoua" and "Ngaoundere: la vie 6conomique d'une cite Peul."
Etudes Camerounaises, No. 45-46 (1954): 3-91 and No. 43-44 (1954): 3-66.

These two articles concern the Foulbe of the Adamaoua, resident in and
around Ngaoundere, as well as the other tribes living in the area. They
were apparently prepared by a French official who does not indicate how or
when he collected his material. Information is provided on the political
organization of the area, legal system and court cases, markets, household
budgets, and the techniques used and incomes earned by artisans (women were
earning incomes as potters and weavers of cloth and mats). Provides some
information on legal and inheritance rights of females and style of life
of Foulbe women. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Genest, Serge. "Savoir traditionnel Chez les Forgerons Mafa." Canadian
Journal of African Studies, Vol. 8 (1974): 495-516.

Study based on 18 months of field .research among the Mafa blacksmiths in
the early 1970s which included a sample survey of 201 blacksmiths and their
260 wives. Is primarily interested in how the special knowledge of the
endogamous clan of Mafa blacksmiths is transmitted to their sons and
daughters. Women of the clan are potters and midwives and Genest describes
the techniques they use and the apprenticeship programs for the two
vocations. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Guillard, Joanny. Golonpui. Paris: Mouton, 1965.

This study of the social and economic life of the Toupouri was made in
1954-1957 to provide information for development projects planned for the
area. Extensive information is provided on the agricultural production
system including a description of the division of labor between men and
women with respect to both food crops and cash crops and the annual cycle
of work involved (shown on a month by month basis giving number of hours
worked by husbands, wives and helpers respectively). The final section
deals with the economy, the markets, the artisans and nutrition.
(Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Guyer, Jane. "Female Farming and the Evolution of Food-Production Patterns
amongst the Bete of South-Central Cameroon." Africa, Vol. 50 (1980).

This study analyzes the impact of the cash crop cocoa economy on farming
practices and argues that changes in farming practices are a function of
adjustments in indigenous social organization. The first part of the paper

reconstructs the Bete food economy in pre-colonial times while the second
part analyzes the changes which have taken place.

Pre-colonial cultivation practices are analyzed on the basis of three
common themes: 1. Field types and crop rotations--reflecting a forest
environment, farmers cultivated two fields, one in the forest for the dry
season and one in the savannah where groundnuts were grown. Forest fields
were those in which, once the forest was cleared, plantain, taro, melon
seeds and sugar-cane were planted. Savannah crops included groundnuts,
maize, cassava, yams and vegetables. 2. Labor mobilization--forest crops
were the domain of men while savannah crops were the domain of women.
Tools split in the same way with men using axes and digging sticks and
women using hoes. A lineage or village group worked the forest plot
together. Women were totally responsible for groundnut production. Yam
fields require cooperation. 3. Control of products--primary rights were
exercised over different crops. Forest crops belonged initially to the
family head or village headman who organized the work. Melon seeds were
divided into shares so that each wife had enough for cooking and retained
the rest in storage. Women allocated their own groundnut crop and also put
some in storage. A woman's production added to the visibility of her
husband's wealth since all production was seen as contributing to the hus-
band's wealth. Stored crops also allowed for village exchange. Many yams
grown by men went for this purpose.

In the cocoa era, male labor was removed from food production. Cocoa
production fit traditional male functions in agriculture production. It
also fit the agricultural calendar of male production thus supplanting tra-
ditional crops for cocoa. Also, bridewealth became monetized. Male urban
migration and cash crop production have left women to tend the food fields
alone. The incidence of marriage has decreased, making absolute the end of
certain types of shared labor. Evidence shows that groundnut production
has been maintained at levels similar to pre-colonial days but that pro-
duction of melon seeds and yams--either male or mixed-gender crops--has
been reduced. Since greater dependence for food production is on women's
fields, they have been expanded, are more intensely interplanted and are
always worked twice a year. Also women work longer in their fields.

A final change occurring at the time of writing has been effected by the
growing urban population in need of food products. As more markets are
opened for food, more women are concentrating on growing particular food
crops for market. This may indeed offer males an alternative to cocoa
farming and bring them back to the women's fields and a more traditional
division of labor based on needed food items.

"Household Budgets and Women's Incomes." African Studies Center,
Working Papers No. 28. Brookline, MA: Boston University, 1980

The paper focuses on household budget analysis among the Betu of Southern
Cameroon, arguing that the classic assumption of the household as an
undifferentiated decision-making unit is inappropriate in this and other
African context. Here "households" usually contain more than one decision-
maker. Men and women generally work in different spheres of the economy

and often manage their own personal incomes. In traditional Betu society
the mother was responsible for feeding the children while the costs of
their social maturation (education, initiation and marriage) was borne by
the father. Guyer points out that this system of exchange is unlikely to
evolve into the western-style income sharing household. She calls atten-
tion to the need to consider the impact of conditions in the national
economy on domestic structures and within these the need to consider both
male and female roles and interests.

The Women's Farming System, The Lekie Southern Cameroon.
Yaounde: E.N.S.A., 1977.

Guyer studied the farming system of women in two Eton (a Pahouin tribe)
villages over two farming years. The first village was studied from March-
November, 1975 and the second in the same period in 1976. The villages are
in contrasting positions, one (Nkometou III) has a ready access to the main
road and the markets in Yaounde, while the other (Nkolfeb) is much less
accessible. It is known that women in the villages (and in most of
Southern Cameroon) produce the bulk of agricultural produce and that they
are selling sufficient amounts to provision the growing urban areas. The
central question Guyer was examining was whether women were merely oppor-
tunistically selling the normal surplus produced by all subsistence systems
or whether they were systematically planning their production to allow for
market sales. Although her conclusions could only be tentative in a
changing situation, Guyer found that there was considerable evidence the
latter situation was the case, particularly in Nkometou III. Her study
includes detailed information on the agricultural calendar, land area
cultivated, labor requirements, production techniques and yield of the
farming systems as well as the cash incomes of the women. (Annotation
from Bryson, 1979)

Hallaire, A. "March6s et Commerce au Nord Des Monts Mandara (Nord du
Cameroun)." Cah. ORSTOM series Sci. Hum., Vol. 9 (1972): 259-285.

Describes characteristics of markets in the area, including mapping the
location of the 46 markets, indications of the ethnic groups who attend,
types of products bought and sold, seasonal differences in markets, etc.
Provides information on the sex ratio of sellers in the markets broken down
by ethnic group as well as a description of the types of products handled
by women. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Harley, Reginald C. Crop Extension Report. (Prepared in conjunction with
Michigan State University Mandara Mountain Study, N.D.). Mimeographed.

There are 11 agricultural posts in the Margui-Wandala Department. The
paper reports findings of a survey undertaken with about 70% (25) of the
department's monitors on the type of work they do. It was found that
rotating monitors periodically was preferred as monitors perceived that
after a few years their work was valued less by farmers. Also described
are the varying amounts of training monitors receive--this ranged from
none since initial training to more sophisticated training in rural anima-
tion, terrace farming, etc. Under Office Support it was reported that

almost all monitors rented or borrowed bicycles or moblettes. Housing is
the responsibility of the monitors. Interaction with the farmer begins
prior to the planting season when small groups are gathered for information
dissemination. Information includes how to sow in rows, credit and repay-
ment of loans, formation of work teams, distribution of tools and seeds
given by some Catholic Missions, utilization of manure, etc. Follow-up
visits are undertaken to individual farmers while they are in the fields.
All travel to farmers is the responsibility of the monitors.

The Mora station which is supposed to be able to distribute insecticide has
vehicles which are inoperable. Insecticide application machines are either
out of order or have not been stocked with appropriate mixes by regional
centers. Problems monitors themselves mentioned include lack of transpor-
tation, no housing allotment, no per diem, insufficient training, under-
staffed offices and a lack of materials to pass on to the farmer (eg.,
pesticides, fertilizers, cords to use in sowing, hand tools, etc.).

Henn, Jeanne K. "Peasants, Workers and Capital: The Political Economy of
Labor and Incomes in Cameroon." Ph.D. Dissertation, Harvard University,

The author's main argument centers on the articulation of various modes of
production. Certain chapters present information relevant to women in
agriculture. Groups studied are primarily in Southern Cameroon.

Females have rights over food plots through their husbands and plots are
not surrendered even if divorce ensues. Women stay in their husband's
villages to protect inherited rights in land for their sons. They earn
money through whiskey production and trading and through the sale of sur-
plus vegetables. Food cropping patterns center on the cultivation of the
peanut field. Planting a new peanut field begins in the rainy season--
February and March--and again in August. Maize is also planted in this
field and separate sections are added for cassava, coco yam, green leafy
vegetables, okra, peppers, sugar cane, etc. The field is surrounded with
plantain. Clearing and planting a new 10-are peanut field takes 5-6 weeks.
Weeding takes another month. Harvesting of peanuts and maize takes place
three months after planting and consumes 20 or more days. The cash crops
harvested are the cassava and plantain. The production of these 10 ares
can normally supply subsistence to a family of four and an average annual
surplus of 10-15%-mainly of cassava, although it is not a planned surplus
but merely a hedge against poor yields.

Males grow cocoa and coffee as cash crops and earn money selling baskets
and housing stakes they make themselves. In cocoa production, many spray
their crop with fungicide to prevent brown rot. The cost of this input
reduced effective yields from 275 kilos per hectare to 241, or a reduction
of 8.5% in total income. Henn notes that the population of young males in
agriculture is decreasing due first to their attendance of school and then
to their migration to urban areas for salaried employment.

There are cultural taboos against touching the means (tools) of production
of the opposite sex. Thus a male does not use a female's hoe and female's
do not touch male's axes, although this latter taboo has been relaxed.

Major constraints in increasing food production "are still the insufficient
means of marketing food and the labor constraints deriving from the social
relations of production between males and females."

A nutritional survey done in 1964 did not disaggregate beans or cowpeas
from "other leafy vegetables" to indicate levels of consumption.

"Feeding the Cities and Feeding the Peasants: What Role for
Africa's Women Farmers?" World Development, Vol. 11 (1983).

Choices made within a family as to what to plant and how labor is divided
are generally the domain of males. Women, due to custom and patriarchal
power, are seldom allowed to choose in these matters even though they
typically spend 4-5 hours per day in food farming while men spend 1-2.
Women also do not have the choice to migrate elsewhere for work because
such action has a higher opportunity cost. State and capitalist labor
policies have precluded women from making choices. Do women who work 10-11
hours/day have the physical capacity to produce more food for urban

Since "women's work" has remained outside the money economy, it has not
benefited from labor-saving technologies. Women use very rudimentary
tools and methods of producing, transporting, shelling, drying, grinning,
storing and cooking food have remained the same for decades. Improved
tools can be purchased with cash, but where are funds to come from?
Purchase of improvements must come from savings women have been able to
accumulate from food crop marketing--if they are able to keep such amounts
for themselves.

The author proposes that the formation of cooperatives with women having
equal access to all the rights and privileges of membership will help
alleviate some of the traditional and more modern problems of women's
powerlessness. In this way, more food will be produced and African
countries may be more able to cope with the growing food needs of the

Holtzman, John Stuart. "A Socio-Economic Analyses of Stall-Fed Cattle
Production and Marketing in the Mandara Mountains Region of Northern
Cameroon." Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University, 1982.

The most pertinent chapter in this study is the third "Overview of the
Geography, Farming Systems, Ethnic Composition and Livestock Production of
the Mandara Mountains." The chapter provides a brief description of the
region including climatic data, rainfall, education, livestock, population
distribution, etc. Women are not specifically mentioned.

Holtzman, John, John Staatz and Michael T. Weber. "An Analyses of the
Livestock Production and Marketing Subsystem in the Northwest Province of
Cameroon." Michigan State University Rural Development Papers, No. 11,

This sector/project overview is a good summary of information on livestock
in the Northwest Province.

No mention of women is made in this study. Useful information on livestock
in Northwest Province is organized in the following manner: 1. An over-
view of livestock production--grazing patterns, geographic distribution,
ownership, production systems. 2. Marketing--types and operation of mar-
kets, trade flow, cattle movement and prices, consumption. 3. Costs and
returns in meat trade. 4. Marketing of small stock. 5. Development
issues in expansion of cattle production--land tenure, grazing, who
benefits. 6. Development issues in improving cattle and in beef
marketing. 7. Development issues in improving small stock production and
marketing. 8. National livestock development policy. 9. Potential
involvement of cooperatives.

Kaberry, Phyllis M. Women of the Grassfields: A Study of the Position of
Women in Bamenda, British Cameroons. London: H.M.S.O. Colonial Research
Publications, 1952.

Kaberry's study is based on research carried out between January 1945 and
April 1948 during which time she spent 33 months in the field. She had
been invited by the British Government of Nigeria which also administered
former West Cameroon to undertake a study of the economic and social
conditions of women prior to planning programs to improve the conditions.
Kaberry believed that this would entail a study of the economic, kinship,
religious and political institutions of the society in order to establish
women's position within them. As such, her study provides a detailed view
of the tribes in the area, and especially the Nsaw which was the largest of
the Tikar chiefdoms. After discussing the political and kinship struc-
tures, Kaberry provides information on food farming in the area which was
the principal activity of the women. She compiled a detailed agricultural
calendar showing the annual schedule for the various crops grown, estimates
of sizes of holdings cultivated (the average woman with no assistants was
cultivating between 1 and 1.5 acres) and she kept a diary of the days
worked in the fields. Kaberry found that while men helped with the heavy
work of land clearing, their total involvement in food crop farming did not
exceed 10 days a year; women were working throughout the year, and on
average spent 60% of their time in the fields. Kaberry's work is particu-
larly useful for its clarification of land tenure and usage practices. She
also provides considerable information on the activities of men which were
influenced by the need to earn a cash income or produce items for barter in
order to purchase palm oil from the forest tribes as none grew in the area.
She provides detailed information on household budgets and the percentage
which was provided by women's activities (on average women provided around
40% of the household budget for the typical family), as well as a
description of consumption patterns. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Kibuka, D. Evaluation of Community Development Women's Work in the South West
and North West Provinces. Geneva: International Association Pan African
Institute for Development, 1979.

Under the general heading of community development, the project aimed at
offering rural women "useful knowledge and skills in agricultural produc-
tion," "home economics subjects," and family welfare activities. The
report considers staffing, staff training, material resources and charac-
teristics of the female participants as trainees. The paper then evaluates
the impact of the program in terms of the changes women who have partici-
pated in training have undergone. It also evaluates the need effectiveness
of the program. A well-attended course was in needlecraft since such
training allowed women to produce money-earning commodities. The author
noted the expressed concern with activities which will assist women in
raising their incomes since the women "do not feel inclined to expend
valuable time on items which have no monetary value." (43) One section
considers the role of Dutch volunteers in the women's education program.
The final section makes recommendations, one of which is to create a
demonstration farm for women so that they may obtain information about new
ideas in agriculture, poultry schemes and new seeds and seedlings.

Koenig, Delores B. "Sex, Work, and Social Class in Cameroon." Ph.D. Thesis,
Northwestern University, 1977.

This dissertation considers women's roles and social stratification in
three occupational groups in Cameroon: workers on a large agro-industrial
rubber and oil palm plantation, bank employees and women in administrative
positions or independent liberal professions. Information on women in
agriculture is limited to a consideration of the types of jobs they have
and the salaries they receive on rubber plantations.

"Why Women Migrate, Agricultural Workers in Africa." Paper
presented at Annual Meeting American Anthropological Association, November
21, 1976, Washington, D. C.

In examining women as migrants, Koenig is studying a group who have largely
been ignored. It is based on an investigation carried out on plantation
workers in the rubber and oil palm plantation in Dizangue, Cameroon. She
found that most of the 35 women were single with an average age of 37.5
years, and over half of them were widows. They indicated that their motive
for moving was to find better means of financial support for themselves
and their children. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Lembezat, Betrand. Les Populations Piennes du Nord-Cameroun. Paris: Presses
Universitaires de France, 1961.

Lambezat's work is a general review of ethnographic information including
his own field research on the pagan tribes of North Cameroon (known
collectively as the Kirdi). It was prepared as part of the International
African Institute's project to provide an ethnographic survey of Africa
and provides a summary of all studies prepared up to 1959. (Annotation
from Bryson, 1979)

Levin, Michael D. "Export Crops and Peasantization: The Bakosi of Cameroon"
in Martin A. Klein (ed.) Peasants in Africa: Historical and Contemporary
Perspectives. Beverly Hills: Sage, 1980.

A more historically-focused writing on the political economy of peasants--
the Bakosi--beginning with pre-colonial production patterns and ending with
how the Bakosi were "peasantized" through the introduction of coffee and
cocoa as cash crops.

Martin, Jean-Yves. Les Matakam du Cameroun. New York: Cambridge University
Press, 1972.

Martin's report is based on field research undertaken in two successive
periods, December 1965 to June 1966 and August 1966 to September 1967
among the Mafa (the title of the work is taken from the other name for the
Mafa). It is the companion to the study of J. Boulet which concentrated
on spatial relationships, agriculture production techniques, outputs,
income and nutrition. Martin is describing the social organization of the
Mafa and also provides considerable information on the changes which occur
in social arrangements when the Mafa move from the mountains down to the
plains. After indicating the geographic and historic background of the
Mafa, Martin proceeds to outline the details of all aspects of Mafa life,
demography, political organization, lineage structures, the organization
of subsistence production, practices surrounding engagement and marriage
and religious practices. Inter alia he provides information on the special
position of blacksmiths within the society. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Mbouyom, Francois. "Le Statut Juridique, Politique et Social de la Femme au
Cameroun." Bulletin de l'Institut International de Droit D'Expression
Francaise, No. 23, (1974): 600-612.

Mbouyom's article provides a useful summary of the legal position of women
in Cameroun. He begins by outlining their situation in traditional
society, noting that there are differences of opinion concerning how hard
women worked or whether they were mistreated. He proceeds to describe
their duties and states that women always remained minors. However, they
did have certain rights and the husband had to be careful not to overstep
certain bounds which the wife could use as an excuse for returning to her
family. He then outlines the steps that were taken in the colonial period
to improve the position of women and concludes with the legal changes which
have been instituted since independence. The equality of the sexes is
established in the constitution of March 4, 1960 and subsequent laws have
further extended women's rights. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Ngwa, Emmanuel Nebasina. "Some Identified Paths to Agricultural Development in
the United Republic of Cameroon."

Agricultural development for quantity and quality food production is
becoming a problem for most governments in Africa. In some countries,
production is being generated in various ways that involve small and large
farmers. The generally favorable results should satisfy the basic food

needs of most rural populations, raise the revenue level of the rural small
farmers concerned, and stabilize most young people in these rural areas.
In the United Republic of Cameroon, such motivated agriculture is, however,
encountering problems of adequate evacuation and distribution of food in
needy urban areas and other internal subregions. Examined are the basic
problems of operating in groups, a system which when, well organized, could
eventually solve other postharvest problems. Case studies are drawn from
agricultural fieldwork, government records and private organizations to
demonstrate ways in which the problem is being addressed. (Annotation
from Sociological Abstracts)

Niang, Lamine. "Comparison of Methods for Collecting Input-Ouput Farm Data, A
Case Study from the Mandara Mountain Integrated Rural Development Project
of the Northern Cameroon." Mandara Mountain Research Report, Plan B Paper.
East Lansing: Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural
Economics, 1982.

Chapter III of this paper provides a very useful description of the Mandara
Mountain area. It discusses the distribution of ethnic groups, the various
ecological zones, the agricultural production system and the infrastructure
and other facilities of the area. No specific data on women is presented.

Nordin, Christina. Les Marches en Pays Sasa Au Cameroun, Description des
Arrondisamente si axek, Reflexion sur le Programme de Recherches.
Douala: I.P.D., 1978.

Nordin studied the periodic markets in the rural areas of Bassa country to
analyze the local and regional exchanges of food products against manufac-
tured products. The hypothesis she is testing is that the Buy 'em Sell 'em
(B.S.) are carrying out an irreplaceable professional activity which is
perfectly adapted to current market conditions in Cameroon. Her write-up
briefly reviews other research on the B.S. and then describes the areas in
which she carried out her research and the types of information she
collected. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

O'Kelly, Elizabeth. Rural Women: Their Integration into Development Programs
and How Simple Intermediate Technology Can Help Them. London, 1978.

This article provides a brief review of the organization and functioning
of the Corn Mill Societies in Cameroon in the 1950's. These organizations
sought to both organize women and instill confidence in their ability to
act collectively in the adoption of intermediate technologies. The initial
focus of the associations was the collective purchase and use of hand
powered corn grinding mills. As maize porridge was the staple these mills
considerably lightened women's work loads. Individual group size was
limited to 100 women. At their height over 300 societies were in opera-
tion. These became the focal point of many other development efforts:
cooking and child welfare classes, joint farming ventures which permitted
new practices and varieties to be tested and improvements in water supply
for villages. Most of the organizers who traveled from village to village

and who collected the payments for the corn mills were men, but each
society elected two head women who were responsible for the day-to-day
decisions. The organizers were paid by the Division of Community

Reeves, Wade Hampton. "Church-Related Programs in Agricultural Education in
Cameroon and Uganda, Africa." Ph.D. Dissertation, Ohio State University,

The study describes projects that have been initiated by Christian churches
and missions in Cameroon and Uganda to teach agricultural methods, stimu-
late development and generate employment in the agricultural sector. The
descriptions are narrative in form and provide information on general
background, goals, scope, financing, staffing, problems and effects and

The study was undertaken to establish the involvement of the Christian
church in such areas as agricultural education, agricultural development
and employment generation. Beyond this, it was hoped that the project
descriptions would serve as a source of information for those who are
actively involved in other such projects, as an instrument to facilitate
evaluation and as a basis for the planning of new projects. For readers
seeking further information concerning the projects described, a list of
names and addresses of those directly involved is included. No attempts
were made to evaluate churches' involvement.

Projects included those using an extension approach, farm-schools,
resettlement schemes and those teaching agricultural subjects and methods
at the secondary school level. Among projects, there are marked similar-
ities in goals, emphasis of instruction, services provided and problems.
All projects share the goals of working to make life in rural areas less
tedious, more healthful and more productive. They also recognize the
seriousness of the school-leaver problem and devote at least a part of
their program devising solutions. Other factors held in common by projects
include governmental approval and support, large audiences, success in
attracting educated young people to vocations in agriculture and success
in introducing new technology related to agriculture and rural life.

From the descriptions a set of principles that serve as guides for the
establishment of these agricultural projects emerge. These include:
1. The services of an advisory committee composed of representatives of
government, church and clientele should be used in the planning, develop-
ment and operation. 2. Goals and objectives should be realistically
attainable in light of available resources. 3. Evaluation procedures
should be included as an integral part of planning, development and
operation in order that progress towards goals and objectives may be
measured. 4. The introduction of new technology (whether crops, materials
or methods) should be preceded by a careful study of the conditions of
production, marketing possibilities, nutritional and cultural consider-
ations. 5. Training should be of the practical, on-the-job type.
6. Training should result in higher than average farming incomes.

7. Provision should be made for the capitalization of former trainees
either by extending them credit or by some other means. 8. Follow-up
procedures, designed to provide former trainees with technical assistance
for marketing and the procurement of supplies, should be an integral part
of any project. 9. Provision should be made for writing and dissemination
of reports, articles and reviews as a means of sharing information.
(Annotation from Dissertation Abstracts)

Riddell, James C. "Land Tenure and Access to Land in the Margui Wandala
Project Area." Mandara Mountain Research Report, No. 3. East Lansing:
Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural Economics, 1980.

This report surveys land tenure and inheritance patterns in one of the
most densely populated arid regions in Africa. Thirty-six villages were
surveyed by an M.S.U. team in 1980 and the major land tenure problems
identified. An estimated twenty-three different ethnic groups inhabit the
region, only two of which (the Mandara and Fulbe) developed state level
political structures. The history of the area is one of ethnic conflict.
More recently, first under the Germans, then the French and then the
present-day Cameroon government, attempts have been made to induce mountain
people to re-settle on the plains. In only one of the villages surveyed
(Hina-speaking) were daughters said to have equal inheritance rights in
land with their brothers. In Moslem areas women can inherit one half the
amount of land of their brothers. In most communities surveyed women could
not inherit land although they had use rights to fields and in some cases
widows had management rights to fields. The authors also consider inter-
vivo land transfers and point out that generally throughout the region land
sales, rentals and loans represent only a partial transfer--usually only
of use rights. Only land that has been given is inheritable. While women
tend to be excluded from ownership to land, they nonetheless play an
important role in the agricultural system. The authors conclude by drawing
attention to the serious erosion problems developing in both the plains
and mountains.

Rodlewski, Andre. "La Dynamique des Principales Populations du Nord-Cameroon
(a) Part I. Entre Benoud et Lap Tchad. (b) Part II. Piemont et Plateau de
l'Adamaoua." Cah. ORSTOM series Sci. Hum., Vol. 3 (1966). Cah. ORSTOM
series Sci. Hum., Vol. 8 (1971).

The two volumes of this useful study provide a description of the
demographic characteristics of north Cameroon based upon surveys carried
out in the 1960s. Fifteen communities were surveyed in the area between
the Benoue and Lake Chad and ten in the Adamaoua and the plains south of
the Benoue. The most important communities were covered by the survey and
the data is provided on a community by community basis making it possible
to compare the characteristics of different groups. (Annotation from
Bryson, 1979)

Santerre, Renaud, "Aspects Conflictuels de Deux Systemes d'Enseignement au
Nord-Cameroun." Canadian Journal of African Studies, Vol. 5 (1971):

Santerre's article is based on studies he made of the Koranic schools and
the modern French schools in North Cameroon during 12 months in 1965-66
and three months in 1970. He describes and contrasts the two school
systems, the teachers and their students. There are few women teachers in
either school system and there were also a very limited number of girls in
attendance though there has been improvements in recent years. (Annotation
from Bryson, 1979)

Santerre, Renaud and Genest, Serge. "L'6cole franco-arabe au Nord-Cameroun."
Canadian Journal of African Studies, Vol. 6 (1974): 689-705.

This article is based on the 1965-66 field research of Santerre and a
follow-up study made by Genest in 1973-74. It explains the policies of
the French colonial government towards Koranic education and then describes
the establishment of joint French Koranic schools following independence.
At the time of Santerre's study the schools had a number of difficulties
and the Koranic and French elements had not been merged very successfully.
By the time Genest made his survey in 1973-74, many of the problems had
been solved. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Tissandier, Jean. Zengoaga (Cameroon). Paris: Mouton and Co., 1969.

Tissandier spent eight months from January to September 1964 in Zengoaga
in the Haute-Sanaga department conducting the field research on which this
study is based. It is a detailed survey of the agricultural production
system in an area which is on the borders of the rain forest and the
savannah. A crop by crop assessment of the time required for each stage
of production is provided, broken down between the time worked by men and
women. Therefore, it is possible to determine exactly the work inputs of
the two sexes. An assessment is also provided of the amounts produced,
and the value of the diet the inhabitants enjoy as a result as well as the
amounts which are available for sale. Hours worked by females on household
tasks are also diagrammed for the year as a whole. In the final section,
the budgets of six households are analyzed, showing revenues separately
for men and women. (Annotation from Bryson, 1979)

Trechter, David. "Nutrition and Health during the Hungry Season in the Mandara
Mountains of Cameroon." Mandara Mountain Research, No. 12. East Lansing:
Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural Economics, 1981.

This is a general examination of health and nutrition in the Margui-
Wandala Department and Meri Arrondissement in the Mandara Mountains,
Cameroon. Two major constraints are identified. Production constraints
arise from variations in the amount and distribution of rainfall, and dense
settlement in the mountains which combine to produce severe and localized
food shortages. Educational constraints are lack of formal schooling and

information regarding proper nutrition, sanitation and health. Twenty
families in three villages were interviewed. The villages were Madakonay
(Mafa tribe), intermountain plateau, east of Mokolo; Ldama (Mafa tribe)
foothills bordering the plateau, south of Mokolo; and Ouda (Bana tribe),
south plateau. Emphasis was given to interviewing females. Question-
naires, anthropometric measures and a dietary survey were conducted during
the "hungry season" (May-September).

General findings included: During this time of year there is a heavy
reliance on millet and sorghum prepared with sauces of leaves or cowpeas.
The major source of protein comes from legumes. Wild food is gathered.
Most staple foods are home produced except in areas where storage is
inadequate and recourse must be made to the market. Calorie shortages
appear to be more important than protein shortages. (Kwashiorkor is rare,
marasmus is more common.) The high dependence on sorghum which is defi-
cient in lysiene suggests possible protein deficiencies. More specific
findings include: 1. Consumption of calories is highest on market days.
2. Home production is the most important source of calories but in the
most commercialized village of Ouda purchases, especially among the Moslem
population, were also important. 3. Drinking wine was relatively
unimportant--the highest incidence was found among the non-Moslems of
Ouda. 4. Wild foods remain an important source of vitamins and minerals.
5. Although food was more abundant in Ldama than in Madakonay, anthropom-
etry revealed more delayed and stunted growth in Ldama. The authors
suggest that this may be because supplemental feeding of infants does not
occur in this village until on the average of 15.8 months. Also, while the
incidence of diarrhea reported by the women for their children was lowest
in this village, 48% of the women nonetheless reported incidences.
6. Infant mortality appears to be high. These authors report a rate of
225 per 1000; others have found up to 477 per 1000 for the under 5 age
group. 7. Responses to food shortage-hierarchy of response (see
Campbell, Trechter article). 8. An examination of women's cash incomes
revealed that females in Ouoa and Ldama (the more commercialized villages)
earned more than those in Madakonay. Wine or sorghum beer is the most
important cash income generating activity for non-Moslem women in the
region. However, with the exception of Ouda, women's earning potential
was greatest in times of plenty, so cash did not tend to be generated at
the time of year that it was most necessary to purchase food. 9. Women
were asked to identify the major problems confronting their areas. Overall
for the region, these were the need for hospitals, schools, wells, famine
relief and flour mills. The authors conclude by drawing attention to the
heavy reliance of the population in the three villages on millet and
sorghum and the frequent local food shortages experienced especially at the
time of year when caloric requirements are greatest (planting season).
They offer a variety of recommendations in the health field to deal with
the problems (barefoot doctors, vaccination campaigns, midwife training,
etc.). They also draw attention to the need to increase the productive
capacity of agriculture.

UCLA Nutritional Assessment Unit. United Republic of Cameroon National
Nutrition Survey. Los Angeles: UCLA School of Public Health, 1978.

This is the final report of a comprehensive survey designed to estimate
the nutritional status of young children and their mothers, to compare
nutritional status among selected areas and to provide information about
certain factors associated with nutritional status such as diet, socio-
economic factors, health and demographic variables. Findings include the
following: 1) A mild degree of acute undernutrition (less than 85% of
expected weight for a child) was recorded for children 3-59 months in the
north. 2) Goiter (Grade II or III) was seen in 5.6% of mothers inter-
viewed. 3) Anthropometric examination of mothers indicated a higher
proportion of undernutrition in women in the North than elsewhere.
4) 70% of northern mothers breastfed their children up to the age of 21
months. 5) Fresh milk was consumed only in the North and was fed to 7%
of children between the ages of 3-23 months. 6) More children in the
North received special foods (eg. millet/sorghum pap) longer than children
elsewhere ana received family food less often. These comments are merely
summaries of the conclusions; the data collected are very broad. A total
of 109 tables are included. In most instances data is disaggregated by
province so that a fairly accurate nutritional profile for the Northern
Province can be ascertained. Appendix 21 sets forth dietary tables for
each province including the percentage intake of food groups by child and

United Nations Development Program/Food and Agriculture Organization.
Recensement Mondial de l'Agriculture et Etablissement d'un Systeme
Permanent de Statistiques Courantes-Resultacs du Recensement Agricole
1972/73 pour le Cameroun. Rome: AG:FP/RAF/71/86, 1977.

This survey provides a variety of useful information including the land
areas cultivated in various crops and their relative importance in
different parts of the country; the number of farm households, the sex of
the household heads and their marital status, numbers of persons living on
the various exploitations, sex and their relationship to the household
head; the relative importance of various age groups providing agricultural
labor; the tools used by the farm households, etc. The information is
based on a sample survey of 6,935 farms which represents approximately one
farm in every 130 which existed in Cameroon at the time. (Annotation from
Bryson, 1979)

U.S.A.I.D. "National Cereals Research and Extension-Cameroon." Project No.
631-0013, Project Paper. Washington, D.C.: U.S.A.I.D., May 11, 1979.

While this paper is a design of a project that will affect several areas
in Cameroon, comments on the.North are provided in Part III. About one
half of the Plains dwellers are Fulani (Foulbe) who came into the area
during the 17th and 18th Centuries. About 80% of the Plains Fulani are
now sedentary and practice mixed farming. Many wealthy Fulani live in

towns and hire labor to work their farms. The Mossa and Toupouri people
are found along the Chadean border. They live in dispersed settlements
and practice mixed farmering, adding fishing to the repertoire of subsis-
tence strategies. The Mafa live largely in the Mandara Mountains but are
also found in the Plains. Scattered dwellings are found on hillsides,
although where agro-ecological factors permit, population densities reach
245 per km2.

Millet and sorghum are the most common crops of the Northern Province,
supplemented at times by maize or rice, the latter primarily being a cash
crop. Peanuts can be either a subsistence or cash crop. Other crops
include cassava, yam, and sweet potatoes. Plains agriculturalists practice
shifting, extensive agriculture. The Mafa of the Mandara Mountains mulch
and intercrop to grow sorghum and millet on terraces. Wealthy Fulani women
hire labor to work on their farms. These women may grow their own kitchen
gardens if religious practices permit. Non-Fulani agriculturalists
participate in agricultural activities in accordance with who has rights
over the land. Toupouri women receive two plots of land at marriage in
addition to usufruct over plots allocated by husbands. Mafa women help
their husbands in their fields, as well as work in their own fields where
they grow peanuts.

Changes in production practices are dependent upon assurances for a
maximization of the entire cropping operation. Subsistence crops take
precedence over cash crops.

The report recommends training Fulfulde-speaking female extension agents
who might be able to gain access to female cultivators among the Fulani.
Without such effort, diffusion of innovation among the Fulani will be slow.

Vincent, Jeanne-Francois. "Donn6es sur le marriage et la femme afu." Cah.
ORSTOM Series Sci. Hum., Vol. 9 (1972): 309-323.

Vincent's study specifically concerns the situation of Mafu (Mafa) women
who are members of a tribe living in the Mandara Mountains just to the
east of the Mafa. Her study was made from April to June 1970. The
principal interviewers were two Mafu men from the areas covered. Each
interview covered personal details of women's life, especially their
marriage history, divorce, separation or widowhood. The survey included
334 married women or approximately one-fifth of those living on the two
mountains. Mafu marriages proved to be quite stable with 79 out of 100
women still being married to their first husbands (this was the highest
rate for any of the Northern ethnic groups on whom Vincent presents data).
Eleven percent of the women interviewed had remained single after a
divorce or a widowhood and most did not expect to remarry. The size of
this group of single women was surprising to the researchers.

Vollrath, Thomas Hachlan. "Credit Needs and Extension Possibilities among
Traditional Rice Farmers in the Northwest Province of Cameroon." Ph.D.
Dissertation, University of Tennessee, 1977.

Family farm labor is supplemented by landless wage labor, of which there
is a great deal in the Northwest Province. When labor is hired on a
regular basis, patron-client relationships often form, but rice farmers
hire labor on an occasional basis for peak agricultural periods. Men are
hired for clearing, cultivation, maintenance, harvesting and transporting,
while women are hired for transplanting, weeding and harvesting. Older
men and teenage children are hired as birdscarers. Communal labor is also
organized as a strategy for accomplishing the tasks at peak production

To gain access to more land, people negotiate with a chief to expand their
holdings (this is necessary in light of inheritance practices). Tools
include hoes and machetes, and improved seed from the agronomic research
station at Dschang is sold widely at concessionary prices. Fertilizer
availability varies by location and is accessible generally through local
cooperatives or field extension workers.

The extension of credit for the purpose of hiring labor and purchasing seed
and fertilizer inputs would enhance production. Problems in servicing
credit schemes include the cumbersome application procedures which farmers
who have received little or no schooling find impossible to complete.
There are no facilities to assist in filling out FONADER forms.

Farmers rely heavily on rotating credit societies for their cash needs.
Such societies mobilize traditional social relationships to fulfill non-
traditional economic functions. The author suggests that making more
credit available through these societies would allow farmers to hire more
people and/or purchase more inputs. If extension agents could become
members, they could also promote the adaptation of certain practices. A
problem in this approach, however, is the structural incompatability of
the two organizations--the economic/external institution and the local
credit society. The author suggests several ways to overcome this
incompatibility--one of which is working through the local mission as an
intermediate financial institution.

Walker, Sheila S. and Ellen Brazier. "Women, Education, and Rural Development
in Cameroon The Fulbe of the Garoua Region." African-American Scholar,
Vol. 1 (1977).

The purpose of this research was to analyze the participation of Fulbe
women in the formal educational system and in development projects.
Research was conducted in Garoua, the administrative capital of Northern
Province. The city was chosen for the likelihood of finding more develop-
ment projects there and thus greater potential change in female roles (as
opposed to Maroua as a site which is the most traditional northern city).

Comparatively speaking, 87% of the school-age population were enrolled in
Southern Cameroon, whereas in the north as few as 19% of the relevant
population were enrolled. Strong Islamic belief systems are seen to be
the cause for low attendance levels in the North.

During the expansion out of the Futa Djallon in Guinea, the Fulani divided
into two groups: the "Peul of the bush" who are primarily nomadic
postoralists, and a more sedentary group. In nomadic society, women are
responsible for selling or trading milk with neighboring agriculturalists
for millet. Milk, butter and yoghurt are carried over long distances
(15-20 miles each way) by women to market; monies received go toward
purchasing grains and vegetables for family consumption. Transhumant
lifestyles require the division of the household in certain seasons and
limit school attendance. Marriage generally takes place when women reach
the age of 13-14. Never having attended French schools, women are not
able to converse in French and thus are limited in their possible inter-
actions. In more sedentary Fulbe groups, women grow peanuts, cotton and
millet. It is more likely that both men and women attend Koranic schools.
More urbanized Fulbe women have acquired French and some hold jobs outside
the home. Small numbers of urban Fulbe women are educated and lead
western-style lives.

The authors have isolated three variables which help explain changes in
the lives of Fulbe women: 1. Education--Seen as being valuable in helping
husbands to enhance their positions or to assist them economically by
getting work outside the home, education is .viewed by women as something
they feel deficient in. Those who have attended school see the decision-
making power of more traditional males as preventing women from having
access to education. Mothers do not make the decision to send their
daughters to school; fathers make that decision. 2. Economic role--
Islamicized Fulbe women rarely go outside the home; men do the marketing
and purchase clothing and other household items. Less traditional women
process food which is sold by their daughters at the market. Proceeds go
toward the purchase of toiletries and dowries of daughters. Those who
have been educated and work outside the home occupy more traditional jobs
for women. 3. Religion, tradition and marriage--Respect is accorded to
anyone who has attended Koranic schools. Women, as culture bearers, are
not allowed to attend French schools because of the new attitudes and
ideas they would be exposed to. The authors conclude by noting that Fulbe
women, as is the case with the entire society, are "attempting to adapt
their traditional values and social structures to the extent necessary,
while retaining as much as possible of their cultural identity."

Weekes-Vagliani, Winifred. Family Life and Structure in Southern Cameroon.
Paris: Development Centre of the Organization for Economic Confecation
and Development, 1976.

The study consists of a survey of 632 people in southern Cameroon and
focuses on changes family life has undergone as a result of urbanization.
Support for the assumption that fertility declines in areas where children

have less economic importance to the family was not found. The extended
family has not declined and traditional modes of thought are still
prevalent. Educational level and occupation were variables which
influenced the reduction in fertility. The study found that some women
had to drop out of school because of pregnancy, but that many of these
wanted to return to school after giving birth. Legal age limits to school
attendance as well as lack of financial resources prevented this. Polygamy
seemed to be declining due to changing perceptions of marriage. Finally
the author calls attention to women's economic dependence in urban areas.
On farms, women have access to cash through the sale of their surplus
production. In cities, however, this is not possible.

Zalla, Tom, David J. Campbell, John Holtzman, Larry Lev and David Trechter.
"Agricultural Production Potential in the Mandara Mountains." Mandara
Mountain Research Report, Working Paper No. 17. East Lansing: Michigan
State University, 1981.

The authors propose a four year USAID pilot project for integrated rural
development in the Margui-Wandala Department in the Northern Province of
Cameroon. The Northern Province has one of the lowest per capital incomes,
lowest school enrollments, literacy rates (9.5%) highest infant mortality
rate (196 per 1000 live births) and mild-acute malnutrition (7.5%) in the
country according to GOC, 1978 statistics. The Mandara Mountain area is
one of the most densely populated in the country and 98% of the population
are farm families that intensively cultivate sorghum, millet and groundnuts
on the terraced slopes of the mountains and on the plateaus. This region
is not self-sufficient in cereals and evidence suggests per capital produc-
tion of these crops is declining, and out-migration, malnutrition and soil
erosion are increasing. The focus of this report is to identify potential
interventions that can increase agricultural and livestock production,
income and rural welfare. Three regions are discussed: the mountains,
the plateau and the plains. Possibilities for expanding crop production
in the areas of cereals (sorghum, millet and maize), legumes (cowpeas,
peanuts), tubers (seed potatoes, Irish potatoes), fruits and vegetables
are explored. The role of SODECOTON in cotton production on the plains is
examined, and its impact on the local extension service considered. Cotton
fields are organized into blocks and farmers required to follow specific
cultural practices. SODECOTON is reported to have a virtual monopoly over
access to agricultural inputs and seems to be able to select the best-
qualified extension agents for their staff. The authors note that this
practice "strengthens SODECOTON at the expense of the Department Extension
Programs." However, cotton generates considerable foreign exchange.
Livestock production practices are reviewed (stall and range fed cattle
and small ruminants) and attention is given to the role of manure in
increasing crop yields. Attention is also paid to the need to up-grade
the extension materials and develop a system of on-farm testing of new
innovations. Credit and soil conservation needs are also addressed. A
section is given over to nutrition. The point is made that increased food
production will not in and of itself result in better nutritional status.
This is a complex issue mediated by a wide range of cultural and social
factors in addition to availability. Trechter, for example, found that in
villages where people are generally better fed the incidence of child
malnutrition is not necessarily lower.

With regard to women, it is reported that their cash income comes from the
sale of cereals and the making of beer and wine. It is presumed that this
money is translated into food purchases that provide diversity in the diet.
Women may also play a role in peanut production. Very little is said
regarding the division of labor by sex. With regard to cowpeas: 1. The
authors found that 70% of all households grew at least some, usually
intercropped with millet and sorghum (except among the Mafa). Yields were
reported to be low but when intercropped with millet and sorghum, cowpeas
tended to provide a crop in years when the cereal harvest failed.
(Cowpeas' need for moisture is counter-cyclical with those of sorghum/
millet.) 2. Only about 10% of the cowpea harvest was sold. Cowpeas are
an important source of protein that complement millet and sorghum in the
diet. 3. Cowpeas were often rotated with groundnuts, peanuts, tiger nuts
and sweet potatoes. 4. High storage losses are reported, causing the
price of these legumes to escalate over time on the local market.

The purpose of proposed project is to carry out applied farming systems
research and to strengthen the agricultural and livestock extension
services to help identify, field test and diffuse promising new cultural
practices and technological packages.


University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs