Porgera farmers learning to retain soil fertility

Business

A GROUP of farmers in the special mining lease area of the Porgera gold mine in Enga have been taught how to maintain their gardens.
The “planting bed maintenance” technique was demonstrated by the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) village agriculture extension worker Rosebenami Alua to farmers from Apalaka, Yarik, Timorope, and Alipis.
Alua said the idea of having top farmers attending such training was so that they could train fellow farmers in Tok Pisin and the local Ipili language.
“This maintenance training is better than others. It’s a good method to be used every time a crop is harvested and also to train their children to use,” she said.
PJV community development senior adviser Regina Toropo said prior to such training, there was a baseline survey.
“Through our monitoring visits, we found that their problem is maintenance of the garden after harvesting. They do not know how to improve the soil fertility of the beds that they have planted,” Toropo said.
“We brought those farmers who have been doing this work and who are able to go and train others.”
Participant Jackybeth Peter from Yarik was happy to have learnt how to ensure the garden bed remained fertile for reuse.
“Now we have a lot of food in the garden. We see that money is in our hands and after the mine is gone, we will continue to plant and eat,” Peter said.

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