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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 350258, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2012/350258
Research Article

Socioeconomic Importance of the Banana Tree (Musa Spp.) in the Guinean Highland Savannah Agroforests

1Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Ngaoundere, P.O. Box 454, Ngaoundere, Cameroon
2Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Yaounde I, P.O. Box 818, Yaounde, Cameroon
3Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, Akdeniz University, 07059 Antalya, Turkey

Received 1 November 2011; Accepted 8 December 2011

Academic Editor: Vergel C. Concibido

Copyright © 2012 Pierre Marie Mapongmetsem et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Home gardens are defined as less complex agroforests which look like and function as natural forest ecosystems but are integrated into agricultural management systems located around houses. Investigations were carried out in 187 households. The aim of the study was to identify the different types of banana home gardens existing in the periurban zone of Ngaoundere town. The results showed that the majority of home gardens in the area were very young (less than 15 years old) and very small in size (less than 1 ha). Eleven types of home gardens were found in the periurban area of Ngaoundere town. The different home garden types showed important variations in all their structural characteristics. Two local species of banana are cultivated in the systems, Musa sinensis and Musa paradisiaca. The total banana production is 3.57 tons per year. The total quantity of banana consumed in the periurban zone was 3.54 tons (93.5%) whereas 1.01 tons were sold in local or urban markets. The main banana producers belonged to home gardens 2, 4, 7, and 9. The quantity of banana offered to relatives was more than what the farmers received from others. Farmers, rely on agroforests because the flow of their products helps them consolidate friendship and conserve biodiversity at the same time.