IOM distributes seeds

The National,Monday July 4th, 2016

THE International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the National Agriculture Research Institute (Nari), with support from the European Union, and the United States and Australian governments, have launched a seed distribution programme across drought-hit areas, benefiting almost 10,000 people.
According to a statement, more than 2000 households in Jiwaka, Enga and Chimbu received seeds for corn, rice, cassava, vegetables and sweet potato cuttings.
This operation is part of IOM’s climate-smart farming and disaster risk reduction, combining training of farmers, agricultural technical guidance, and distribution of agricultural tools and seed kits.
With the Highlands having experienced the severity of the El Nino effect,  resulting in agriculture production failure and food shortages,  the National Agricultural Research Institute (Nari) has been responding to the needs of affected communities to restore food security.
The distributed seeds are specifically developed for Highlands climate and have a high protein level compared with other varieties.
Nari and IOM’s seed distribution has seen the introduction of drought-resistant crops that would spread crop production and increase food security.
Nari research and development coordinator Johannes Pakatul was elated at the large number of seeds that were picked up for distribution.
“Many groups responding to the drought have requested renewable seeds developed in PNG for PNG and we have developed a first-come, first-serve system.” Pakatul said.
“This is the first and the largest request to go to PNG communities.”