Women learn backyard gardening skills

A facilitator from Kastom Gaden Association, right, explains to the women participants the different kinds of plants that can be used to drive pests away from their vegetable gardens.
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UP to 50 women and girls took part in a three-day “Backyard Gardening” training delivered by Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) at their Burns Creek base last week.

Participants were mentors and members of the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) Solomon Islands’ Girls Rise Up! Project around Honiara.

“The training was aimed at giving these women and girls basic knowledge and skills in backyard gardening,” Maria Afu, Gender Officer for Live & Learn, who organised the training, told the Island Sun.

“At this time of the covid-19 pandemic, it’s important that families have food available around their houses,” Afu added.

“So this is a kind of food security and livelihood training.

“Participants are expected to return to their communities and share the skills and knowledge gained.”

The Australian Government, through Live & Learn, funded the training.

A male facilitator demonstrates how to prepare what is called Plant Derived Pesticide (PDP) to the participants.

During the sessions, participants learned how to set up a nursery, mix soil for nursery, soil sterilization, seed sowing, pricking, transplanting, compost making and others.

For most of the participants, it was their first time to attend such training.

Afu said the training should help the participants grown their own vegetables at their backyards, as well as earn money from any extras.

Georgina Ariki was not only a participant, but also president of YWCA Solomon Islands.

She told the Island Sun the training was an eye-opener for most of the participants.

“Most of the participants never been through such training before,” Ariki said.

“So as president of YWCA, I am happy to see them participate in this training, which I believe will help them to see the importance of backyard gardening,” she added.

Ariki said the participants represented various communities around Honiara, and was hoping they will return and share their news skills and knowledge with their members.

She thanked AusAid for funding the training and Live & Learn for organizing it.