Goats taken into Naoro village in Kokoda by NARI early this month
Naoro villagers welcome NARI officers for a agriculture training early this month
By DENSLEY TAPAT of NARI
Villagers at Naoro along the famous Kokoda Trail (Track) have received much-needed training on improving their agricultural farming practices, thanks to the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI).
This included provision of foundation materials of food crops (seeds) and breeding flock of poultry and goats.
The assistance was provided under the Sustainable Rural Livelihood Improvement Project of the Kokoda Track Authority (KTA), supported by AusAID.
Under the Kokoda Initiative, a joint understanding was signed in 2008 between the Papua New Guinea and Australian Governments on the Kokoda Trail and Owen Stanley Range.
Both governments made a commitment to identify potential economic benefit streams and improve livelihood projects for landowners, including tourism-related income generation activities.
The Sustainable Rural Livelihood Improvement Project was intended to support micro-business opportunities in two pilot villagers - Naoro One and Two - along the Kokoda Trail.
As a result, a total of 50 farmers received training on selected agriculture and livestock activities.
The Naoro villagers had hands-on training on farming of food crops such as vegetables, rice, maize (corn) and mung bean, and livestock such as chicken, duck and goat using locally-available resources.
The training at two Naoro villages in the central province was provided by the NARI crops team from the Southern Regional Centre, Laloki; and rice and grain and livestock teams from the Momase Regional Centre, Lae.
The training went for three days with class presentations, discussions, practical demonstrations and information-sharing on improved farming systems of vegetables, rice, maize, mung bean, and poultry and goat keeping.
The trainees were identified and organised by three previous business awareness and planning workshops held at Naoro villages by Kokoda Livelihood project partners (NARI, KTA and Ginigoada Foundation).
They were divided into three groups and guided through the three days of separate training sessions.
Poultry and goat keeping training was led by Densley Tapat, Simon Sangi and Jerry Bakui, NARI’s livestock officers.
Training on rice, maize and mung bean cultivation was led by Dr Peter Gendua with assistance from Rex Kawage while John Demerua and Paul Osilis provided training on vegetables and fruit cultivation.
Besides, NARI supplied nuclear livestock breeding flocks of 10 goats and 23 poultry with vegetable and fruit seeds and 10kg of rice seeds, 2kg of open-pollinated corn and 2kg of large-seeded mung beans.
The team also donated a wooden rice mill (Kisser).
The specialised training showed how farmers can make effective use of improved crop and livestock farming systems to enhance their livelihoods.