Rainfall and Deforestation Dilemma for Cereal Production in the Sudano-Sahel of Cameroon

Terence Epule Epule, Changhui Peng, Laurent Lepage, Zhi Chen


Time series data reveals that the Sahel of Cameroon has experienced several years of deficits in cereal production. The debate attributes the observed trends to low rainfall. Uncertainties in the debate on the role of rainfall as a principal causal factor are evident and need verification. Both field and desk studies have been used; this involved the administration of 200 questionnaires and focused group discussions. The desk studies included detailed literature review and analysis of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) satellite images of vegetation and rainfall from the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP). The results show that cereal production has declined while rainfall has increased by 30-40% in the last decade in the study area. With an increase in rainfall, the observed decline in cereal production cannot be explained by climate only. Land use changes such as deforestation patterns are significant in explaining the trends in cereal output as seen in population perceptions.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jas.v4n2p1

Journal of Agricultural Science ISSN 1916-9752 (Print) ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)

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