Farmer Spotlight: Solace Agha Fominyen’s Passion for Sustainable Farming in the Developing World

Farmer Spotlight: Solace Agha Fominyen’s Passion for Sustainable Farming in the Developing World
From foodtank.com, by Katie Opalinska

Hello, my name is Solace Agha Fominyen. I'm 43 years old, and I've been farming for 20 years in Mbengwi, Cameroon.

Sustainable farming practices are important to me because they preserve the soil, give good yield, and fight against climate change.

My favorite thing about being a farmer is that it takes you closer to nature, it heals. It is a passion. 

My farmer idol or superhero is Fons Verbeek in the Netherlands because he is an organic farmer who gives a lot of care to the soil and to nature.

My favorite music to listen to on the farm is South African Zulu.

When I’m not farming, I like to read and train other farmers.

My favorite things to grow are cabbage, tomatoes, and cucumber.

My favorite thing to eat is traditional meal cocoyam.

If I could change one thing about the food system it would be the wasting of food, and training in food preservation.

Something you don’t know about me is that I am the Director of the Youth Multipurpose Agroenterprise Development Center, working with more than 300 farmer groups, and I have a demonstration farm, funded by the European Union's Rural Development Program for the North-West Region (RDP-NW).

If I could tell the world one thing about what being a farmer is like it would be that farming in developing countries is hell. Many people think farming is for the poor, those who did not go to school. Many projects from international organizations fail because they pass through corrupt government officials, and they do not have the baseline survey of those whom they want to help. African farmers need direct contact through NGOs, based on the ground. Truly the best way to fight poverty is through agriculture, but farmers are disappointed because of corruption.

I am reducing post-harvest losses by food processing.

I conserve water on my farm by using a water tank.

Climate change is affecting my farm through lack of water, long dry seasons, and new diseases affecting crops.

I'm protecting the environment on my farm with less digging of the soil, less use of chemicals on the farm, and planting of trees on the farm.

I think we need more young people involved in farming because the wold population is increasing, and farmers are getting old.

I’m creating healthy soil on my farm by using less chemicals and using organic manure.

I’m preventing erosion from my farm by planting trees and fallowing.

The most difficult thing is about sustainable farming is financing to buy farm equipment.

The following resources, programs, or organizations are most valuable to my farm: CTA, Netherlands, EOSTA, Verbeek, Organicholland, Food Tank. 

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