Creating food resilient gardens in a time of climate change

Learning from the farmers

The Activity has run a total of thirteen main workshops in Enga and Simbu. Many more follow up workshops have been conducted and this has allowed farmers to share with other farmers and the project trainers – their experiences. These have been really valuable. We have benefited greatly from plant materials from NARI (sweet potato – kaukau rop/vine for planting, cassava stakes, English potato) and from local farmers in EHP hundreds of planting sets of African yam. Some hundreds of other kaukau vines have been sourced for distribution to enthusiastic farmers. We’ve also been able to bring into PNG with the blessing of NAQIA –  Rhizobium of value to farmers growing peanuts.

Here are some insights from the farmers.

  • John, Dugipapi – Most times I am lazy and don’t do much gardening but after the challenges from the Workshop I went to work on my land. I planted 100 big kaukau mounds. My wife helped with the mulching because of the need to build soil fertility. I asked her to plant 130 taros. I made a live fence around our garden. Because of my love for beans I planted more, including Dolichos lablab. We continue to plant more crops in our garden to prepare ourselves for the next drought.
  • from Basgun- Before I never did much gardening work but most days would sit along the roadside and involve myself in gambling and doing nothing. But I was really lucky in attending the Workshop where I began to understand the importance of caring for my land and utilizing new ways of gardening. So I started telling my family that we should prepare in case there was another drought. This is what we did: we planted 140 taro kongkong, 80 kaukau mounds and 26 cooking bananas. I mulched all those kaukau mounds with grass. At that time I began to love gardening especially for sustaining the lives of my family if another dry spell strikes.
  • J. reported using a home insecticide technique of collecting chillis, mixing them with marigold leaves and steeping them in a bucket of water for 1 week. Spraying with the fluid killed all the target insects. “My crops are growing free of insects and I’m happy, so thank you DK. I learnt so much from you”.
  • M from Sala, GPS 120. I led my family to plant 66 kaukau mounds, mulched them, dug holes to collect wash-away soil, planted corn and beans in between mounds, to sell when harvested. Other new crops I planted straight after the Workshop are bulb onion and carrots. I’m sad to say that gall mite still exists in my gardens. I ‘m killing them but it takes time for them to perish.