Sunday, April 25, 2010

Drought and climate change to be focus of NARI show

The National Agricultural Research Institute is preparing the annual Agricultural Innovations Show for 2010 to be staged at its Sir Alkan Tololo Research Centre at Bubia, Morobe province, on Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This will be the fourth year of this ‘information exchange and knowledge sharing’ event in which partner and collaborating organisations in agricultural and rural development will be invited to display and exhibit their innovations and improved technologies and interact with farmers and the general public.

Over the past four years, NARI has been spearheading a campaign to prepare Papua New Guinea for recurring periods of prolonged drought linked to changes in the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

 In recognition of the urgent need to prepare PNG for such a scenario, the theme of NARI’s innovation show this year is: “Preparing PNG for Drought and Climate Change”.

As an integral component of the event, NARI is also hosting a major stakeholder forum under the banner: “Preparing PNG for Drought”.

This aim of this forum is to raise awareness on drought nationally and to debate how best to prepare rural communities for drought conditions.

NARI is inviting representatives from all the major international and national aid agencies and government institutions concerned with food and agriculture, environment and water security issues in PNG.

 Local non-government organisations, churches, community-based organisations and rural farming communities will also be invited to participate in this forum.

“The Government of PNG has recently committed public investment programme (PIP) funding to support NARI in a major project entitled: ‘Preparing rural communities for frequent and prolonged El Niño-induced drought events,” according to NARI director-general Dr Raghunath Ghodake.

 “This project will be launched during the stakeholder forum by the Chief Secretary to the PNG Government, Mr Manusupe Zurenuoc.

“Forum participants will be informed about the project aims, scope of operation and partnering arrangements, and opportunity will be given for feedback and comment on these matters.

“Presentations from other organisations will cover important issues of food distribution networks, clean water provision, and epidemic disease control, in the run-up to a severe drought event, and the forum will explore and debate these matters also.

“We believe that this forum will be an important milestone along the road to secure lives and livelihoods in PNG against a backdrop of increased climate change-related disasters both here and within the wider Pacific region.”

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