Jerry Anderson from KGA partner Turusuala Community Based Training Centre has been working with farmers in Namoku village to help them to be prepared for emergencies or disasters when they may be short of food. Namoku is over a full day walk to the coast in the isolated interior of Guadalcanal.
Jerry introduced Kakake to the area in 2008. Kakake is not traditional in these bush communities or on the weather coast. There was the odd plant around but it was not used as a traditional food. KGA has been introducing and bulking Kakake for the last few years and sharing it with farmers. Kakake, or giant swamp taro, is a very good emergency food. Jerry visited Namoku recently and was pleased to find that David Chokoa, a member of the KGA Planting Material Network, has established his own plot of kakake. The plot is ready for harvest and will help them in times of food shortage.
In Haimatua village on the Guadalcanal weather coast almost all families are now growing kakake for food security thanks to the KGA supported program which has spread out kakake to many new families. Other nearby communities are also planting in the same swamp area. Turusuala continues to make planting materials available to other families. People in this area often experience seasonal food shortages and KGA has been working to introduce new strategies and crops to enhance food security for these difficult times.
Other crops being introduced to reduce seasonal food shortage: bulk planting of bananas, african yam, pana, cultivation of wild edible yams, hongkong taro (xanthosoma). Combined these new crops are reducing the vulnerability of sweet potato failure at very wet times of year. For more information contact Jerry Anderson at Turusuala Community Based Training centre at Avuavu.
This work is supported by AusAID funding to Kastom Gaden on the weathercoast to improve food security since 2004.