ALISON TURNER of IATP
THE Integrated Agriculture Training Programme (IATP) last week delivered training in “Sustainable livelihood and decision making” to over 60 participants from Gunanba Ward of the Kokopo-Vunamami local level government (LLG) in East New Britain.
LLG funding has already enabled residents of Bitagalip and Ulaulatava Wards to benefit from this training.
“Sustainable livelihood and decision making” is the foundation module for the University of Natural Resource and Environments IATP farmer outreach programme.
The IATP began in East New Britain in 2003, with initial funding from AusAID-PNG Incentive Fund.
The programme has since grown to become self-funded with farmer training delivered through the funding support of partners in New Ireland province, Lihir, Bougainville, and West New Britain.
A strength of the programme is its collaborative approach, and IATP is soon to commence training in East Sepik in a new partnership with the Foundation for Women in Agriculture Development.
Training for Bitagalip, Ulaulatava and Gunanba ward has been led by experienced IATP trainer, Ray Roberts.
Mr Roberts challenged participants to think about how they could best manage their resources both now and for the future.
In the closing session at Ulaulatava Ward, course participants reflected that the training had been a “wake up call” and that it had “opened the minds of everyone to the need to value and care for our resources”.
Mayor of Kokopo town Albert Buanga congratulated participants for completing the training in Ulaulatava.
He emphasised the challenge of good land management for the Kokopo-Vunamami urban LLG as rapid urban growth was reducing the amount of land available for agricultural use.
Over half of the course participants were women, and special acknowledgement was made of the participation of young people.