Women in West Makira constituency learn new techniques to increase crop yield
More than two hundred women, girls and men in wards 5,6,7 and 8 of West Makira are now able to produce enough food to feed their families in the face of ever increasing negative effects of climate change.
This is the result of a series of training and demonstrations organized and conducted by the Matavale Women’s Association with trainers from Kastom Gaden Association and a graduate from Alafua Campus in Samoa over the past months.
The Matavale Women’s Association has been conducting trainings and demonstrations for women since last year and the last was conducted recently in ward 8 at Asimanioha and Wango in which more than 90 attended.
The previous ones were held at Anuta and Bia in ward 5, Tawaraha in ward 6 and Tawatana in ward 7.
The trainings and demonstrations included indoor classes and demonstrations which were open to other community members to observe so that knowledge gained can be replicated in their communities.
Components of the trainings and demonstrations include various ways to improve poor soil fertility such as composting, mulching and crop rotation.
They were taught, crop management from planting to harvesting, seed selection and preservation and pest control using biological methods.
Information booklets and tools were also provided under the project to enable women continue with their vegetable gardening after the project is completed.
An assessment following the completion of the Soils improvement component had indicated that 100 percent of women attending the trainings have put into practice what they have learnt.
It was also evident that women’s groups and individual families are receiving some form of income through the selling of their products to the public.
They include the selling of seedlings, vegetable boxes, bags of improved soils and harvested products from their gardens.
The purpose of the project component supported by UNWomen Peace and Humanitarian Fund is to enable women acquire new agricultural skills to be resilient against the effects of natural disasters.
The next component in which the Matavale Women’s Association will be involved in is the training of women in entrepreneurial skills to be able to manage and run businesses and cooperatives of which the profits will be saved to be used during times of disasters in providing relief supplies and doing assessments of natural disasters when they happen.
A training of 16 women from the four wards will soon be carried out to enable them set up the cooperatives to buy cocoa and copra products from rural farmers of which profits will be saved to be used during times of disasters.
The cooperatives will provide employment to rural youths as well as increasing the circulation of money in the rural economy thereby encouraging commercial activities to thrive.
The project is also hoping to establish community disaster committees, managed by women to develop mechanisms and systems to be applied during times of disasters.
The Project is supported by the United Nations’ Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund.
-MATAVALE WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION PRESS