Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eastern Highland students take to rice


STUDENTS attending Korofeigu Primary School in Lower Bena area of Ungai-Bena district, Eastern Highlands, had a rare experience in rice farming.

Pictures show Grades seven and eight students from Korofeigu Primary School at the rice field at Kinigito. – Nationalpics by ZACHERY PER
The opportunity was created for grades seven and eight classes by Kinigito Community Association just before the school closed for Easter break.
Teachers and students were taken to the Kinigito rice farm where they were allowed to harvest rice at the farm.
Each student was given a handful of rice seeds to be planted at their respective villages.
Kinigito Community Association secured funding from the Department of National Planning to venture into rice farming as a solution to food security problems.
President of Lower Bena local level government, Jerika Haki, emphasised that rice had become staple diet for the people.He said they want to ensure students mastered the art of rice farming so they could cultivate rice to cut down on the imported stuff.
“Food security for Lower Bena area has been one of our main priorities after experiencing drought, which saw us facing serious shortage of food,” Haki said.

“We are going into rice farming to help solve food security problems.”
Haki said rice could be stored for longer periods than other staple food crops like kaukau (sweet potato).
He thanked Kinigito Community Association for accepting the students to learn how to harvest rice at the farm.
“We gave each student a handful of rice seeds that they will plant in their own garden,” Haki said.
“After harvest, they will bring their rice to be milled at the association’s rice mill and will be given to them for consumptions. “
Alex Bare the technical advisor of rice growing with Eastern Highlands provincial natural resource division provided technical information on rice to the students.
Several students asked questions on rice growing that were answered by Bare.

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