Farmers learn low cost production techniques

A WEEK long Farm Mechanisation Training (FMT) held at the Taiwan Technical Mission farm near King George which concluded last Friday is a boost to many local farmers.

The training was the first of its kind and attended by about 13 farmers from Western and Isabel Provinces, with the aim to equip local rice farmers and other technical staff to appreciate the development and adoption of small-scale low cost and energy efficient machinery for use by subsistence farmers in PNG and Solomon Islands.

“This training is an eye opener for us.

“We secure new skills and understanding which we believe will boost our farming production,” a farmer said this at the official closing at Jina’s restaurant, Friday night.

He said such training was important to local farmers in guaranteeing enhancement in their farming production and the agriculture sector since agriculture is the backbone of any country’s economy.

“With the new skills and knowledge that we have learned from the week long training, we hope to pass it on to other rural farmers, to help them boost their agricultural knowledge.”

The farmers also encouraged the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) to introduce the programme to other provinces as well.

The week long training had seen participants involved in production of manual rice milling machine and training on how to use the solar grain drier and peanut shelling machine.

The training was organized by the MAL, under the project ‘Enhancing productivity of land and labour through small scale mechanization for subsistence farmers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands’.

FMT was jointly funded by the European Union (EU-NARI) and Solomon Islands government.

It is understood that this is a new area of development within the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock (MAL) with the objective to develop and adopt small-scale low cost energy efficient machines for use by subsistence farmers in PNG and SI.

The training was facilitated by Mr Joe Someng, project engineer from NARI –PNG.

By STEPHEN DIISANGO/SOLOMON STAR

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