I.1 Context and justification
The 6th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report of 2022 confirms the evidence of climate change and its adverse impacts on socio-economic development and ecosystems. This report especially highlights the high vulnerability of Africa to climate change and underlines the numerous risks and impacts already experienced by the continent. In the countries of the Horn of Africa, it is observed that extreme droughts lead to agricultural losses causing a lack of access to food for the population. In 2011, 12.4 million people were suffering from famine in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia (FAO, 2011). Thus, finding solutions to the negative impacts on development sectors due to climate disruption is becoming a priority for African countries.
In Cameroon, climate change is manifested, among other things, by a disruption of the onset and end dates of the rainy seasons, a decrease in the amount of rainfall, a poor distribution of the number of rainy days, and the increasingly recurrent and catastrophic increase in extreme climate events (floods, droughts, violent winds, sandstorms and haze, etc.). All these effects of climate change have as corollary the disruption of agricultural and livestock activities, the resurgence of crop pathologies, the loss of biodiversity, conflicts in the management of natural resources, food insecurity, population migration and the degradation of ecosystems.
The absence of forecasts and baseline information on these hazards increases the country’s vulnerability to climate change (PNACC 2015, National Communications 2005 and 2014, PAN-LCD 2006, NBSAP 2012).
Cameroon, conscious of the stakes of this global phenomenon for its socio-economic development, has committed itself to climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, notably the ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the adhesion to the Kyoto Protocol and, very recently, the signature and ratification of the Paris Agreement. In order to better monitor the commitments, she made under the above-mentioned Conventions and Protocols, the Head of State created and operationalized the National Observatory on Climate Change (NOCC), and entrusted it with the main mission of « monitoring and assessing the socio-economic and environmental impacts of climate change, and proposing preventive, mitigation and/or adaptation measures to the adverse effects and risks associated with these changes ». Thus, the Observatory, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER), produces an annual agricultural calendar. This calendar is a decision-making and advisory tool for agricultural activities and adaptation to the effects of climate change. For the 2023 agricultural season, an agricultural calendar specific to the Sudano-Sahelian agroecological zone has been produced.
This zone covers the North and Far North regions and is characterized by permeable, ferruginous, leached, hydromorphic and alluvial soils. Lithosols and Vertisols are also found here. Ferralitic red or brown and hydromorphic soils. The main agricultural crops generally grown here are cereals (maize, millet/sorghum, rainfed rice, etc.), legumes (groundnuts, soy beans, beans, etc.), oilseeds (groundnut, soy beans, sesame, cotton, etc.), tubers (yam, potato, cassava, cocoyam, sweet potato, etc.), vegetables (onion, tomato, pepper, okra, etc.) and perennial crops (cashew nuts)