PiCCA was awarded an Australian Aid Friendship Grant to work with the Hako Women’s Collective (HWC) to deliver an Agricultural Hub and Training Activity in the north of Buka Island in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Training in contemporary agricultural methods is well underway. Women, people with a disability and younger people are participating – 83 families in all. The construction of the Agricultural Shed is almost complete. Composting bins have been erected and are in use, a nursey has been established to cultivate seedlings, the rice mill is operational, a demonstration garden has been established and participants who competed their training have planted local gardens.
In March, Warren and Steve visited Hako and got the chance to witness first hand a training session run by the Department of Primary Industry and HWC, where participants learned composting, fertilising, inter-planting, organic pest control, rice production and other skills.
(Below some of the students in their training classroom before doing hands-on activities)
(Above DPI Trainers Yvonne, Leah and Ignatius with Chief John Harohi -third from left- a local leader and enthusiastic supporter)
They also had the chance to meet and talk with some of the project participants. Ms Jaylene Kalana (below) showed off the bush nursery built from local materials, where seedlings are nurtured before planting and commented “I have learned so much that I didn’t know before. This will help me and my family to have a better life.”
Mr Gimots Hanets (below), from Hanpan village, has planted a garden near his home using the techniques he has learned in the training. The photo shows him with cabbage seedlings in a plot of mulched soil. He has a large family and he hopes to sell his surplus crops through the Hanpan market to make a better life for his family.