The Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MALS) Jimi Saelea has congratulated the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) for its support towards the establishment of the Vavanitita Multi training centre in Munda.
Mr Saelea made the comments during his visits to the farming centre over the weekend.
During the visit Mr Saelea said food crop development is another important area for Western Province.
“I congratulated the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) and the landowners of Vavanitita for seeing the need to establish the eight months old Multi training centre in Munda.
“This initiative will go a long way in developing the capacity of agriculture sector in the Western province,” Mr Saelea said.
He further stated that the Ministry is committed to supporting the agriculture development in cash crops, livestock and other areas to address food security.
“Livelihood and economic wellbeing assistance for women farmers has been provided by MAL through the Women in Agriculture program.”
Tthe Western Provincial chief agriculture field officer for New Georgia Mathew Sakiri said that the establishment of the Multi training centre was a significant step towards people taking ownership in farming activities in the region.
He said with the setting up of this farming training facility in a suburban and rural setting will help stimulate people’s mind to return to farming as the basis of creating and building better livelihood and bring about sustainable economic life for everyone.
The Vavanitita Multi Training centre started off in February this year.
The land is owned by the Daga Tribe Association in Dunde, Munda.
The Taiwan Technical Mission assisted the Vavanitita land holding group to establish the farm.
TTM and MAL signed an MOU partnership agreement to initiate the farm.
Taiwan funded everything said Sakiri through the International Cooperation Development Fund (ICDF) and under this agreement the Ministry and Taiwan will work together to support the farm.
TTM has provided the technical expertise and also the financial operations of the farm.
Mr Sakiri said in terms of incentive coming out from the farming activities, under the agreement a percentage was shared among the parties involved.
Sales from the produce;
1. Labors (workers of the farm – 50%
2. Land owners- (DTA) -10% and
3. Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock-40%
Sakiri said the MAL’s 40% will replenish the farms operations, such as buying seeds, fertilizers and insecticides.
The useable land area for the farm is 5 hectares and currently to this date they have used 2.6 hectares said Sakiri.
He said the land is slowly developing since some part of the land is not flat. They will use those slope areas to build terraces and start planting pineapples, taros and other crops until the land target area is fully utilized.
The centre will be fully operational next year 2015.
He said by then they can start taking in students or agriculture trainees to study at the farm.
“We will welcome drops out from forms 3, 5 and 6 to be trained at the farm. The duration to work at the farm will take 3 months for the start.
Sakiri said the establishment of the farm has many challenges and difficulties when they started the farm in February but now all those hardships have gone and now the main activity is planting, weeding and harvesting.
About one hundred local farmers around new Georgia took a field trip to the farm last Tuesday and it was an eye opener for many of those who visited the Multi training centre farm.
On Friday the Western province Acting Premier Wayne Maepio and MAL PS Jimmie Saelea and other provincial officials also visited the centre.
Currently the farm employs twenty labourers, ten men and ten women who were paid by the TTM.
The head of the farm working under TTM is Mr. George Sun.
By DENVER NEWTER