A group of farmers from three districts in Madang are pleased that their visit to NARI instilled confidence in the use of various technologies and innovations to improve farming.
The visit was part of a joint working partnership between the Madang Provincial Department of Agriculture Live-stock, World Vision-Madang, NARI and selected farmers from Sumkar, Rai Coast and Madang district.
World Vision Project Coordinator for Building Resilient Communities, Vele Emilio, explained that farmers nominated from each district are ‘champion farmers’ who will work closely with NARI to deliver technologies in their respective areas. Champion farmers are similar to lead farmers who have demonstrated good leadership in implementing what they have learnt and sharing skills and knowledge with other farmers in their community. This visit is aimed at motivating farmers to sustain and improve farming practices on crops and livestock.
This had been possible through the European Union supported Climate Change Resilience project to increase resilience of vulnerable communities in the event of droughts. The farmers were accompanied by officers from World Vision on a brief tour of the institute to learn about the importance of making seed gardens of staples such as taro, cassava, African yam, sweetpotato and introduced leafy vegetables like Malaba and water spinach (kang kong) .
The farmers were introduced to proper planting and seed multiplication techniques on taro, banana, taro, and sweetpotato before visiting the rice field and livestock program at Labu. World Vision Officer Vele Emilio was pleased that farmers will be able to apply their skills in order to realise the benefits of using improved farming practices. Mr Emilio explained that visiting NARI will help farmers to improve farming practices and be able to make informed decisions.
Farmers were keen on the importance of making seed beds of staples which can provide income opportunities and sustain food production. Tamaide Gossiba of Od village of Madang district was thankful that she was able to see positive benefits from using improved technologies such as making nursery plots that would provide enough planting materials and improved planting techniques for better crop yield. Gugain Gala of Raicoast District, has already established twelve nursery plots of sweetpotato, taro, rice and received two ducks, thanked NARI and other partners involved saying such programs will enable him to help other farmers improve their livelihood. World Vision is not new to NARI as it has been engaged in the past in delivering planting materials of staple crops to affected areas during the 2015/16 drought.