Story & picture courtesy of PJV media unit
HE continues to be the success story of the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) initiated Agrikids programme and young Carlton Samuel is showing no signs of slowing down.
The eight-year-old has this year paid his way into a new private school for him and his younger brother at Porgera Station, made possible through the sale of vegetables from his home backyard garden.
On June 20 2019, Carlton and his parents staged a field day assisted by PJV’s Community Development (CD) team to show their appreciation to the company and supporting local institutions like the Porgera Women in Business (PWiB) and the Porgera Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
Left 1: The Samuel family (left to right) Nas, Jeremy, Samuel and Carlton.
Left 2: Iarume (second from right) assisted by Pakea (right) presents a tray
of vegetable seedlings and the fertilisers to the Samuels.
This also marked the end of Carlton’s Agrikds programme, which he embarked on a year ago when the programme was first introduced as a pilot project for the Aumbi Elementary school, where Carlton was a student.
Since June of last year, Carlton with the support of his parents had raised K4,500 through the sale of broccoli, cabbage and lettuce cropped and harvested from the family’s backyard plots at Porgera Station.
“We sold to the main market and to PWiB. We payed K300 each for Carlton and his brother to attend a new Four Square Christian Academy school at Porgera Station and some of the money we bought food and essentials.
We also plan to open a Kids Savings Account for Carlton,” said Samuel Leo, Carlton’s father.
Leo, an employee of the Paiam Hospital said since the closure of the hospital, he has focused his efforts toward supporting Carltons agriculture projects and this has sustained the family so far.
Over the course of the year, the PJV team together with village agriculture extension workers, Rosebenami Alua, Roselyn Pawe and Lina Aluako delivered various training and support to Carlton’s family.
“What has been most important are the skills we have learnt; how to make a nursery and how to make compost. I almost gave up and then Rosebenami taught us how to make compost and separate the soil so that the seedlings are not destroyed by insects and do not dry up because of a lack of water, now our crops are coming up ok,” Leo expressed.
Carlton’s success is what PJV hopes to see in the communities it has delivered the Agrikids programme to.
So far, they include the Mungulep Primary school, Alipis Elementary and the Kulapi #4 Elementary school.
Senior Officer with PJV Community Development, Peter Tumun said PJV will continue to provide support and encouraged Carlton’s parents to continue to support Carlton’s interest in agriculture.
“What Carlton has now is a lifetime skill and he must be encouraged to continue doing this. PJV will monitor and support Carlton’s progress,” he said.
Providing a market for Carlton and his family to sell their produce, PWiB President Elisabeth Iarume presented Carlton’s family with a seedling tray and three plastic bags of fertiliser to continue their work.
Iarume said Carlton’s mother Nas, has never failed to supply quality vegetables to the PWiB and the outcomes achieved by Carlton’s family is what other families in Porgera should aim to achieve.
“We need to build on from the Agrikids programme and continue to promote agriculture among the young and families. The market already exists and we must continue to promote the interest,” Iarume said.
PJV Community Relations Superintendent, Tum Erasi said Carton’s achievements promote PJV’s continuing focus on food security in the Valley.
“Carlton is a success story and gives hope that good can come out from Porgera with the right partnerships, attitude and focus,” Erasi said.
Twenty-seven students from the Mungulep primary school have taken the Agrikids concept back to their homes and have built nurseries.
The PJV team is monitoring the progress of these students with training and technical advice.