Ms Mary Joyce, a Baetolau local improved plant protection trainer had just completed her five days farmers support program in Central Bouro, Makira/ Ulawa Province from the 6th – 11th November 2011.
Ms Mary Joyce able to visit 13 gardens, basically to provide advice and support to farmers on pest and disease management.
The program designed to reach out to farmers that never attend pest and disease management training. Ms Joyce and share her knowledge with farmers on about pest and disease. Over the week, Ms Joyce visited 35 farmers. Ms Joyce highlighted that most of the farmers she met are women. In the garden, farmer shows affected plants, crop a as well as few pest samples.
Lucy, a farmer said that in my garden I had come across many sick crops and vegetables, thus, I have no idea to control the pest problem in my garden. The learning I receive from the trainer help me to know what type of pest do most of the damage in my garden. I also learn that there are cultural and soft chemical like chilli, ash, tobacco leaves that can help to kill pest also I will now start to monitor the pest in my garden. Farmers also express that such training should carried to our rural community given the fact that pest and disease is now becoming a major threat to food security.
Ms Joyce said that taro leaf blight, bobone and alome are largely presented in many taro gardens. She said that if farmers are not careful to control the spread of the taro diseases, then farmers are expected to experience loss in taro production. Leaf rust is found in peanut gardens.
Sigatoka (banana disease) is commonly found in most banana gardens, shoot borer in slippery cabbage and white peach scale on cassava largely presented in most gardens.
The topic covers over the five days taught farmers to understanding the difference between pest and disease, describe types of damages caused by pest and disease to crop plants, understanding the life cycle of different pest and taught on different stages of their life cycle that causes damages to plants, diagnosing and culturally controls.
The trainer also taught farmers how to do mulching, composting, crop rotation. Such practices plays an significant role towards soil improvement. The villages visited by Ms Joyce are Togori, Tawani, Maraniu, Holy Pool, Arohane, Waimagarisi, Maniviriviri, Naororo, Paoa and Naohe.
A similar training was carried out in West Are’ are from 29th October to 3rd of November 2011, 27 farmers participated.