Zero Hunger with Land Resources Division – LRD
SPC’s Land Resources Division provides technical, scientific and policy advice and services to Pacific Island Countries & Territories or PICTs in the areas of genetic resources, plant and animal health, crop production, agricultural trade, biosecurity, agricultural policy development and sustainable land, agriculture and forestry resources development and management, including organic agriculture.
SDG 2, which is dedicated to ending hunger and food insecurity, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture, is particularly relevant to LRD’s work. This goal features a number of measures to raise the productivity and incomes of rural livelihoods through sustainable use of land and other natural resources.
Best-bet Farming Kiribati
In Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu, research efforts have focussed on assessing and determining the impacts of best-bet farming technologies, including the use of well-composted organic material to improve existing farming and production systems. Inorganic fertiliser supplementation is not a healthy option due to the vulnerability of fresh water lens to contamination. With the prolonged drought in Kiribati, LRD has put up demonstration farms and learning centres for communities on compost and low-cost water management technologies like mulching and bucket irrigation (also known as bucket drip irrigation).
In South Tarawa, bucket irrigation and mulching plots were set up for sweet potato, eggplant and tomato at the Agriculture and Livestock Divisions’ Tanaea Station for community awareness and adoption. Training has been provided to staff who are now helping community farmers adopt these methods. Also at Tanaea Station, seed production vegetable plots were set up as a strategy to promote local seed production. This is part of the work to encourage communities to produce their own seeds of open pollinated vegetable varieties such as tomato, eggplant and wild amaranthus.