From a report by Inia Barry, Thecla Vapusy & Esther Ririmae:
The last PMN conference was held six years ago in 2003 and so it was exciting for members to attend a PMN conference in 2009. The seventy or so lead farmer participants for the 2009 event came from all over the Solomon’s. The farmer conference provided an opportunity to come together and share their experiences and their ideas for the work of PMN.
Many people have returned to or continue to live in their village with no formal employment and rely on agriculture for their way of life. This highlighted the demand on the land to provide subsistence, and the pressure from growing populations. At the conference farmers stated that the National Government at this present time is providing little guidance nor assistance to the people at the rural levels. Solomon Islands needs programs to ensure Solomon Islanders have access to balanced diets and manage their land well and solve food production problems. But the message from PMN was that farmers have to help themselves and each other.
The conference seeks to address these issues faced by rural farmers by strengthening existing networks and establishing new linkages among rural farmers. These links facilitate the sharing of their indigenous knowledge and new ideas the can strengthen their farming methods and knowledge.
Members need to be self-reliant and share their farming materials, skills and ideas as well as learn from their neighbouring partners. Members from rural areas need to create and strengthen the partnership among themselves to strengthen and sustain the network.
(PMN member participant)
Feed the people below and they will feed the plant.
Waste from the other species is food for others
Without earthworm there is no life, no humus soil is life less.
Money been poured to lazy people with lazy hands.
(Joini Tutua – founder of PMN and Kastom Gaden Chairman)
More posts coming soon with the outcomes of the conference….