BY BEN BILUA
UN Women – Market for Change programme has reached out to Gizo Market vendors with machineries to improve food productivity.
Members of Gizo Market Vendors Association took ownership of a mini ploughing machine and a power tiller ploughing machine during a handover ceremony at Western Province’s Agriculture Research Centre, Gizo Western Province yesterday.
The handover was witnessed by delegates from Honiara including officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), UN Women Programme and officials from Western Province Agriculture division.
“The main objective of this programme is to help market vendors to improve food productivity. Main focus is on addressing threats to food security,” McDonnell Hiva, Chief Field officer of MAL said.
He told vendors that the machineries are new and that more practice will unable perfect usage of the machines.
Hiva said the presence of vendors during the handing over demonstrate the importance of the project and its future.
“I want to highly emphasis that, more practice will make perfect. Furthermore, I urge you to establish effective network and communication so that these equipments bring equal benefit to all vendors,” he said.
Secretary of Gizo Market Vendors Association, Alecs Padakana welcomes the assistance saying that the machines will have an impact to vendors’ production.
Further training is needed to help vendors to familiarize on how to use the machines.
“These are new machines and I’m of the view that we need more training to handle these things,” Padakana said.
One of the vendors, Granly Ravu said the machines are easy to handle and suitable for women.
“Women are the ones who spent more time in the garden and these machines are a great relief to our vendors.
“Our Vendors will no longer use their strength to plough the ground but instead the machines will to the job which is a good thing,” she said.
Gizo Market Vendors Association is an umbrella body representing vendors from the surrounding islands in Western Province and members acknowledged UN Women Program for the great assistance.