UFA-REFOREST project: towards the modernisation of silvicultural activities in forest concessions in Cameroon


The UFA-REFOREST project, funded by the European Union, has been supporting 4 forestry companies in Cameroon for around two years: AlpiCAM-GrumCAM, PALLISCO, SEEF and SEFAC. A 5th company, DINO&Fils, is also involved in this project following its expression of interest.


During the first two years of implementation, the project has supported these companies in carrying out a number of reforestation activities, in particular the production of quality seedlings in nurseries and the establishment of tree plantations in different environments in forest concessions. The project is being implemented by ATIBT, with the support of its technical partners Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (ULiège), ENSET Douala and Nature Plus.




Until now, very few initiatives to modernise forestry activities had been taken in Cameroon's forest concessions. Thanks to the UFA-REFOREST project, the project's partner companies have undertaken to modernise their nurseries and mechanise tree-planting activities. The nurseries have been equipped with shade nets, which have replaced the palm leaves frequently used. An automatic watering system has also been installed in some nurseries (ALPICAM-GrumCAM), to overcome the difficulties associated with manually watering the plants (watering time).

Thanks to the exchange trips organised as part of the project, PALLISCO has also decided to install an automatic watering system at its Mindourou nursery. In addition, the project has established a harmonised forest seed harvesting protocol used by each of these companies, as well as a system for tracing and monitoring seedlings in the nursery. Databases for monitoring seedlings in the nursery have been set up (harvesting, batch monitoring). A specific protocol for breaking the dormancy of tali and movingui seeds is also used in the nurseries. Two ayous cutting stations exist near the AlpiCAM-GrumCAM and PALLISCO nurseries. These are regularly supplied by nearby clone parks.

As far as tree planting is concerned, the innovations introduced by the project have involved the use of machinery (bulldozers) to prepare plots of land for reforestation in degraded areas, and the abandonment of manual preparation, which is tedious and slow. This approach has enabled more than 43 hectares of forest to be rapidly cleared for planting. As part of the process of preparing areas for reforestation, an auger was made available to operators to facilitate drilling. Plantation monitoring forms have been set up, as well as databases for better monitoring. These tools and equipment help to optimise operators' yields in the field and make them more efficient.

The project's ambitions don't stop there, however, and discussions are underway on the acquisition of a system to optimise the filling of pots in the nursery and the purchase of a shredder to facilitate plantation maintenance.

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