To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Friday, November 10, 2006

North Malaita agricultural farmers benefit from workshop in Silolo

Farmers in North Malaita will benefit from a week-long workshop held at Silolo Farmers Information Center and in Kwailabesi in Ward 12.

The workshop coordinated by the ADRA Solomon Islands in collaboration with Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) and supported by AusAID programmes started on Monday this week.

Participants a total of 25 from Tombaita include farmers and youths within North Malaita constituency.

The workshop was conducted by three facilitators, one from ADRA Solomon Islands, Mr. Richard Lee and two from KGA – Field Coordinator, Mr. Iro Ramoi (Silolo) and Mr. Paul Kabole (Busurata Village).

Participants at the workshop covered areas on food security and pest management for the community, and youths and farmers were encouraged to get involved in growing food and agriculture.

The workshop encouraged participants to promote this kind of development on their land, and improve village food security through sustainable agriculture.

Participants looked at maintaining diversity of food crop planting materials and to look after their different varieties of plants and crops. Ideas were shared and exchanged through farmers training in this programme which was well proceeded.

The workshop was also to help farmers avoid the use of synthetic pesticides which destroy the balance of nature and which are so expensive that farmers often cannot afford to buy them. Natural way of doing farming such as organic farming to produce crops and creates a mineral and nutrient rich layer on top of the soil was encouraged.

One of the youths who attended the workshop revealed that he was very happy to learn few new methods and techniques on how to manage his own farm and decompose, which upon arriving home will apply what he has learnt from the one week workshop.

He said another important matter learnt was identifying the most effective control methods for use against particular insects, and being trained in production of botanical sprays and instructions.

Other key areas learnt was the use of other pest management methods identified during the workshop practical.

Solomon Islands currently suffer an economic imbalance due to food imports while health problems are increasing because of changing diets. Dietary change is associated with an increase in the incidence of non-communicable such as obesity, diabetes and infant undernourishment.

Facilitators stressed that young people should be encouraged in farming, stressing this type of farming using local materials, local breeds of animals and local feed production is the right type of farming for the country’s situation.

The workshop closed with light refreshment, witnessed by Silolo community.

Source: PF Net

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