Bakossi Non Timber Forest Product cooperative society (BANOTIFOPCOOP) was created on the 7th of October 2016 and was born from a meeting of farmers of the Mekom-Tombel Sub Division with their main objective being the collective production and marketing of members Non Timber Forest Products (NTFP). BANOTIFOPCOOP is the sole cooperative in the Bakossi National Park (BNP) that FORUDEF works with. Interesting to know is the fact that this cooperative is represented by institutions- Village Forest management Committees (VFMCs) and not by individuals as is the case with most cooperatives.
As part of Leading the Change project under WWF Cameroon, FORUDEF facilitated the general meeting of BANOTIFOPCOOP. This meeting held at Melong on the 21st July 2022, and brought together the board of directors, some cooperative members and FORUDEF staff to analyze the cooperative activities, know its financial status and discuss on the way forward.
Shortly after its creation in October 2016, came a turbulent period in which cooperative activities were greatly hindered and thus, delaying the success story of this cooperative. That not withstanding, BANOTIFOPCOOP since its creation continue to receive funding from FORUDEF under the auspices of WWF-Leading the Change project. These funds help the cooperative to purchase NTFPs (bitter cola, bush mango, bush pepper, njansang) in bulk at lower prices and in turn sell them in areas where demand is high to make profits. Haven obtained their license this year, BANOTIFOPCOOP can collect up to 1.8 tons of NTFPs.
At the end of this meeting, all participants were up to date with the financial situation of the cooperative and familiar with the constitution. Also, all 34 villages of the BNP shall be represented in the cooperative henceforth as conservation is the people. The cooperative as from the 21st July 2022, will be functioning under an interim manager for a period of six months after which a meeting will be scheduled to organize an election for the new executive.