The negative effects of climate change is real says farmers from Gabsongkec village of Wampar local level government in Huon district.
Ottob and Maryanne Ferea who have been farming fresh produce expressed that climate change is affecting their crops. They have been producing the orange flesh sweetpotato, chilli pepper, black beauty egg plant, sweet corn and watermelon.
They are working alongside NARI as part of the Climate Smart Agriculture project supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research to support farmers develop a weather advisory information tool to improve agricultural production in three project sites; Bubia in Morobe, Kerevat in East New Britain and Aiyura in Eastern Highlands.
“We were not able to plant our crops in late 2021 because we were experiencing a very dry period until mid January this year. We will only plant when the weather is good or when it rains”, Mrs Ferea explained.
The farmers revealed that the traditional practice or knowledge they use to predict dry or wet season is based on a wild yam specie grown in the area.
The yam is called “Offre” (pronounced off-re) in the local language. Wet season is predicted when the leaves start to dry out while dry season is predicted when young leaves begin to develop.
This knowledge has been practiced for many generations.
Both farmers are grateful to NARI and ACIAR for being part of the project.