Draubuta landowners are taking ownership of the agriculture-forestry demonstration (agro-forestry demo) farm plots set up by officers from the Ministry of Forests, Ministry of Agriculture with support from SPC/GIZ.
This was evident during a team visit during the week of November 5th consisting of officers from these three agencies.
The team witnessed that landowners had taken the initiative to plant coconut seedlings, supplied by Agriculture Extension officers based at the Navatumali Government Station in Navosa. They were able to space the seedlings appropriately according to what they had been previously taught when planting was done with pineapple, eggplant seedings and native trees such as sandalwood.
Furthermore, the team during this visit planted 50 soursop and 50 citrus seedlings in the demo farm with the Draubuta villagrers.
Agro-forestry demo plots had been set up in the REDD+ Emalu pilot site village of Draubuta with support from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Land Use Division and the Ministry of Forests. The villagers were taught sustainable agriculture practices so that they are able to plant native trees, fruit trees and cash crops and vegetables all in one area.
Yaqona is the main cash crop planted by Draubuta villagers in the areas near Emalu forest. Given the remoteness of the village, farmers find it easier to cultivate and sell yaqona because it is light to cart, non-perishable and rarely affected by the market prices.
According to Agriculture’s Land Use officer Jese Ligaiviu, the landowners have been planting yaqona in the forests because the air is much colder now which produces good variety of yaqona.
“The idea of these demo plots is to promote the growth of trees in between cash crops and vegetables so as to also start creating an atmosphere from that of the forests. This will allow the villagers to plant nearby instead of going into the Emalu forests,” he said.
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