Friday, February 25, 2011

Milne Bay community improves its farming


COMMUNITIES in the Rabaraba sub-district of the Milne Bay Province will now have access to improved crop and livestock varieties, thanks to a collaborative effort of PNG Sustainable Development Programme Ltd, National Disaster and Emergency Services and National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI).

Project signboard erected at the multiplication site at Rabaraba station

Under this collaborative project, NARI is introducing improved crop and livestock varieties in an effort to encourage farmers to adopt the improved materials to diversify their food production.
This project provides an opportunity for the community to grow a variety of crops and livestock for their own consumption with training on crop and livestock production, and on simple processing techniques provided by NARI.
This food security project is aimed at alleviating the food shortages and malnutrition problems by improving crop and livestock production on a sustainable basis as the area is prone to drought and flooding.
NARI-released technologies to be transferred under this project include African yam, taro, drought-tolerant and high-yielding cassava varieties, rice, corn, lowland early maturing sweet potato varieties, Muscovy ducks, village chickens and other suitable vegetables.

Community members planting NARI taro at the multiplication site at Bogaboga village
Distribution of the improved material started last September and multiplication sites have been established at Rabaraba station, Yoguba village and Bogaboga in the Cape Vogel area.
Project co-ordinator James Ernest said communities in the three areas had shown great interest and had assisted the project in establishing the multiplication sites.
He said due to logistic problems, multiplication sites were being developed on a small scale as the improved materials were being supplied from NARI Southern regional centre at Laloki, outside Port Moresby.
“Distribution of materials to farmers and the options to expand the sites would be considered once sufficient material is generated from the respective sites,” Ernest said.

Some of the corn and taro growing in the multiplication garden at Rabaraba station 
The project is being implemented in partnership with the provincial Department of Agriculture and Livestock, and community leaders who have volunteered to oversee the sites at Yoguba and Bogaboga.
Establishing a resource centre at a central location is planned from where planting materials and other information will be distributed from.
It is hoped that the outcomes of this project will also benefit other communities towards the inland and along the coast, as well as neighboring communities in the Cape Vogel area of the Makamaka local level government area.
NARI is carrying out two other similar projects on M’Buke Island in Manus and Morehead in Western.
Members of the community preparing land at the multiplication site at Yoguba village

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