THE Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) through its Western Province Extension Division has successfully conducted a four-day series of farmer training on piggery and kava for members of the Sirubai Voko Tribe Association (SVTA).
SVTA is a community-based organization in South Vella La Vella Island, Western Province.
Funded by SVTA, the series of trainings ran from 11th-15th October, 2021 at Valapata community with the aim to equip existing and interested pig farmers with knowledge and skills to boost their pig production for improved profitability and also impart them with the right skills and knowledge on kava cultivation practices to guarantee they produce quality kava for local market and overseas export.
The series of training also provided an opportunity for the farmers to share experiences and learn together especially on pig farming and kava production techniques and at the same time able to attained technical recommendations from MAL officers for guaranteed farming improvement.
Senior Livestock Officer for Western Province, Margaret Telemahau said the trainings were very successful with farmer participants acknowledged MAL for the knowledge and skills shared that would certainly support them on ways to improve their pig and kava production.
“The training were conducted in series, like we conducted kava training from 8:00am – 4:30pm during the day while training on piggery we started it off after 4:30pm till late each day,” Telemahau said.
“It was a success and we manage to complete the trainings successfully,” she added.
“Piggery farming has been recognized as one of the profitable undertaking among our rural farmers.
“This enterprise has proven to be one of the most important livelihood alternative.
“Generally, pigs are reared for pork, considering the increasing trend of pork consumers in our country during special occasions.
“Piggery farming will certainly take an industrial form of livelihood in Western Province in the future if piggery farmers around the province (Western province) see the potentials and roles piggery enterprise plays,” Telemahau said.
Meanwhile, on Kava she said the training was very important to ensure farmers are entrenched with practical capacities to produce quality kava for the local market as well as export market.
“It is an important training because the knowledge and skills acquired will help them to improve and practice proper ways of kava harvesting and processing.
“Kava training involved both theory and practical and farmers have learned a lot from the field demonstrations,” she said.
Telemahau also took the opportunity and congratulated SVTA for being a role model and taking the lead in the initiative to ensure its members organized themselves and trained on practices to boost their farming for improved productivity and profitability.
She also thanked SVTA for its funding support towards the training.
Telemahau added that MAL Extension Division in the Western Province is looking forward to support SVTA with more similar trainings in the future.
Total of 47 participants including men, women and youths who are members of SVTA attended the series of trainings.
Topics covered for the piggery training include; animal welfare; pig and the community; planning piggery project; pig management/ system of pig keeping; disease and parasites; feeding and different breeds of pigs while kava theory and practical sessions include management, harvesting, washing, sorting, cutting and sun drying.
SVTA (Sirubai Voko Tribe Association) consist of family members of the Sirubai Tribe, South Vella La Vella Island.
The association (SCTA) works closely with Community Based Organisations (CBO), NGOs, Government Ministries and communities with the vision towards self-reliant community, fostering good governance, healthy lifestyle, maintaining of food security and natural resources management with the mission strive towards sustainable natural resources management where people are secure in terms of food securities, socio-economic activities and having a healthy life.