Young People Trained in Organic Farming

September 2, 2010

This story comes from farmers in the Baetolau Farmer Association Zone 6 area in Mana’abu, North Malaita.  Baetolau Farmers Association is a partner of Kastom Gaden and is working together with Kastom Gaden to improve food security in North Malaita.

Forty young people come to Mana'abu 3 days a week for 3 hours a day as part of their training in organic farming

Joyce Mary one of the trainers who have attended the May 2010 master training of trainers course run by KGA experts Graham Jackson and Shane Tutua in organic farming and pest and disease management.

After the 2 weeks training Joice returned home to her village and started to do her own training with 40 youths from 4 communities around her zone (Gwou’ulu, Faufanea, Tara’ana, Mana’abu villages). The training runs from June to July with the young people coming to the centre for 3 days of each week.  The training focuses on organic farming theory for 1 hour followed by 2 hours practical.

Youths in their group garden putting into practice organic farming skills - mulching organic matter to improve the soil instead of the usual practice of burning it.

After the training the youths go back to their home villages and are now helping the woman’s group in each of their community to set up their own gardens practicing the skills in organic farming that they have learned during the training. During the practical they divide into 6 groups to work on their own plots and during practical at home they will work in their groups.  The group plots are thriving examples of organic farming and good pest management in an area that suffers from low fertility soil due to excessive burning and cultivation. These youths are now equiped with new methods and a better way to farm in high land pressure north Malaita.

Young people learning to make a compost basket at the Manabu farmer field school

Youths in their group garden putting into practice organic farming skills

The Kastom Gaden master trainers course in organic farming and the farmer extension program of Baetolau Farmer Association in North Malaita are both supported by AusAID.

Roselyn Kabu,  Women and Nutrition Health Program Officer
Kastom Gaden Association