Garden of the three sisters

BEDELOR will promote : Advice or Consulting, Studies, Expertise, and capacity building

An initiative of Bureau d'Etudes pour le Développement Locale et Rural (BEDELOR)

Overview of the project

The three sisters’ gardening involves planting maize, squash and bean seeds in a mound of earth. The three plants work in symbiosis. The beans provide nitrogen to the soil, the maize acts as a trellis for the beans and the squash protects both plants from invasive weeds and pests. The plants work together to help grow a bountiful harvest. This is how the Amerindians once ensured their food security.
Here’s a Three Sisters Collection kit grown in the United States and containing a bag of sweet corn, squash and white beans. They cost $9.99 each in the USA.
Here are a few websites describing how Native Americans used this technique to ensure their food security and income.

The Three Sisters: A Lesson in Sustainable Architecture

Growing Native American Heritage: The Three Sisters
Companion planting is key to food security

The Three Sisters: Maize, beans and squash How to plant a Three Sisters garden


Improving food security for small-scale producers in Cameroon thanks to the Three Sisters Garden technology.

Level of progress

Ongoing research

Project timeline


Quantitative results

-Determine how much the Three Sisters Garden kit could cost in Cameroon;
-Determine whether there is a market for the Three Sisters Garden kits;
-Determine the increase in income for small producers;
-Impact 4000 women and young people through this project;
-Produce 4000 Three Sisters Garden kits;
-Produce 24,000 PICS bags;
-Cover the 10 regions;
– 1000 hectares of land covered;
– 5000 tonnes of maize produced;
-2000 tonnes of beans produced;
-4000 tonnes of pistachios produced

Qualitative results

– Determine the best varieties of sweet corn, green beans and squash to grow.
– Determine whether growing sweet corn and green beans will allow students to earn a lot of money.
– Determine whether squash products keep moisture in the soil.
– Determine whether climbing beans improve the soil.
– Determine whether hand pollination will increase the number of kernels on each ear of corn so that 30% more corn is produced. There won’t be enough maize kernels on the cob if there isn’t enough wind or insects in a given area to pollinate the maize,
– Determine whether hand pollinating squash/watermelon will increase the number of squash/watermelon produced. Squash and watermelon plants will flower.


les fonds sont sollicités auprès de l'ambassade des Etats-Unis et de l'USAID

About the

Bureau d'Etudes pour le Développement Locale et Rural (BEDELOR)

Joseph MAYI
Executif Director

BEDELOR will promote the services of : Advice or Consulting, Studies, Expertise, and capacity building; in the following areas: Capacity building, rural activity systems and producer organisation, development education, financing and micro-financing systems, food and nutritional security, sound management of the environment and natural resources, gender approach, governance, decentralisation and local, agro-pastoral development.
In the area of institutional support: with regard to the 2020-2023 triennium, BEDELOR has on several occasions given its opinion on the rural sector development strategy and the national agricultural investment programme (SDSR/PNIA).

Find them on
A project
in collaboration
  • Purdue Improve Crop Storage Global (PICS Global)

    Entreprise sociale

    Dr. Laurie Kitch
    +974 5550 1300
Other partners / supporters

MINEPAT-MINADER-University of Tuskegee-Paul Rigterink