Group learns from Taiwanese

The National,Thursday June 30th, 2016

SUMU Business Group from Sumu village near Erap in Morobe has successfully negotiated for technical support from the Taiwanese Technical Mission headquarters in Lae.
The group went through a workshop last Friday with the objective of organising its members into farming groups.
The workshop was run by the Taiwanese Technical Mission with the assistance of Department of Agriculture and Livestock at Erap.
The business group is registered with the Investment Promotion Authority since 2007 has been producing rice as a community group for some time now.
The move to diversify into other crops is to maintain a constant cash flow to subsidise the cost of their other business needs.
The technical mission team has been working closely with the community-based business group in advancing their plans to go into vegetable production.
Thomas Tseng from the technical mission went through a catalogue of annual crops describing characteristic of each to workshop participants who split into groups.
“This is to enable farmers to make their selections based on internal and external factors. The internal factors include labour and capital input as well as soil suitability, while external factors include climate conditions and market accessibility,” Tseng said.
He said the technical team was happy to work with the groups organised and willing to take the responsibility.
Failure or success depended entirely on their commitment, he said.
“The mission will support the groups with the first lot of seeds and will assist in seed stock propagation once the first batch of crops begins maturing.”
DAL’s Nobert Ao, who is also mentoring the farmers, said that was not a new concept as the villagers were familiar with cooperative societies and how they operated.
“The only difference is that the villagers are into planting various types of crops, so they need to be organised into groups according to the crops they selected to plant,” Ao said.
The business group has allocated 7.2 hectares of land for this project that has been divided into 36 plots of 40m by 50m.
Each plot will accommodate different crops managed by nine farming groups.