Farmers learn pest control method

Momase, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 5, 2011

DANNY Gagu and his teenage son Lusip are now looking forward to reaping rewards after acquiring better knowledge from a new cocoa management skills programme, Integrated Pests Management.
The father and son are from Uya village, in the Bugati area of Astolabe Bay local level government area, in Rai Coast district.
They were among 300 smallholder cocoa farmers who attended a one-week awareness and field demonstration initiated by the Ramu NiCo agriculture field officers with assistance from experts from Cocoa Coconut Institute (CCI) and Department of Primary Industry (DPI) in Madang.
Gagu is now rehabilitating his old cocoa plot by removing old stumps, die-back as well as weeding.
He is buying cloned seedlings from the Cocoa Coconut Research Institute outside Madang to replace traditional cocoa plants.
Ramu NiCo’s community officer Tony Gayu said the training on IPM technology and field demonstrations were conducted in villages, including Diduala, Ato, Uya, Bongu and Male, along the coastal pipeline area and attracted more than 300 small-scale farmers.
Gayu said the IPM skill “is simple and can be used by ordinary farmers with limited skills, knowledge and financial capabilities”.
He said the technology would help to promote high scale cocoa bean production, quality dry beans, and best pruning practice and fertiliser application.
He said Ramu NiCo agriculture experts Adam Bade and Daniel Sioba were encouraging farmers to acquire hybrid cocoa because it could produce more beans.
A participant and a small scale farmer from Bongu village, Set Bagun, has already bought 48 hybrid seedlings for K28 to plant at his new block.
Ramu NiCo helped with the transportation and other necessary skills and support.
The ongoing awareness and field demonstration is part of Ramu NiCo’s support for the landowners of Ramu NiCo impacted areas to help them grasp more skills and explore other financially sustainable avenues.