ALISON TURNER of IATP
THE Novah community in the Tonsu constituency of Buka was the setting for World Food Day (WFD) celebrations in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
This community initiative demonstrated the important contribution that women and especially mothers make to improving food security.
The Novah community effort was well supported by the Buka staff from the Department of Primary Industry.
Local DPI staff had worked in conjunction with the Integrated Agriculture Training Programme (IATP), to deliver training in ‘Sustainable livelihoods and decision making’ in 2008.
Following this training, backyard gardens have flourished, and IATP was pleased to sponsor prizes in the “best backyard garden” competition run at Novah.
Visitors to the World Food Day celebration were educated, entertained and offered practical demonstrations to encourage local food production and good nutrition.
Local gardens became demonstration plots to show techniques for vegetable and tree nurseries, backyard gardening, cocoa budding and rice growing and milling.
The highlight of celebrations was the “Mrs World Food Day” competition which was won by Mrs Genevieve Kouve, from a field of four well-supported contestants.
Mr Leo Darius from the University of Natural Resources and Environment’s IATP, who helped judge this competition, acknowledged “the courage and confidence” of the participants and commended the leadership role demonstrated by women in the organisation of the WFD celebrations.
Alongside the demonstrations and competitions, a number of stalls provided popular displays for the many young people and students who visited over the two days.
Food stalls displayed and sold local produce, with a range of quality vegetables and seafood well appreciated by visitors.