Awae, Cameroon — Jullienne Engono has good reason to look pleased with herself. The 49-year-old farmer has won first prize for food processing at an agricultural show in Awae town in southern Cameroon, where she sits at a stall surrounded by her stock of dried vegetables, plantain chips and biscuits, and potato and cassava flour.
But to Engono, adding food processing skills to her green-fingered talents isn’t just about winning prizes. Turning crops into processed products is an increasingly important way for small-scale farmers like her to combat the potentially negative impacts of climate change on productivity in this central African nation.
Experts fear that changes in climate patterns, leading to more unpredictable and sometimes excessive rainfall, will worsen poverty levels among subsistence farmers across the region, including in Cameroon, where 70 percent of employment is related to agriculture.