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A significant milestone in the promotion of agroecological approaches and practices to the agricultural sector in Nauru was reached on Monday 25th September, as The Pacific Community (SPC), through the Pacific Organic Learning Farms Network (POLFN) Project, officially launched an Organic Learning Farm in Nauru. The event was held at the Ministry of Environmental Management and Agriculture.
“On behalf of the Nauru Government, I am honoured to reaffirm our commitment to promoting organic and agroecological transitions in Nauru,” said Nauru’s Acting Secretary for the Department of Environmental Management and Agriculture in his keynote address. Further stating the hopes for the Organic Learning Farm, “We will encourage experimentation, test new methodologies, and evaluate their viability in our unique Nauru context. By doing so, we will continually enhance our farming knowledge and ensure that our organic methods are tailored to our local conditions, respecting the needs of our diverse ecosystems.”
The POLFN Project is the first regional project supported by the Kiwa Initiative implemented by the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) initiative, housed at SPC. The Initiative is funded by the European Union, Agence française de développement (AFD), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). Regional implementing partners include SPC, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Oceania Regional Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The POLFN Project launches the Max Dowedia Organic farm. The farm will serve as a learning centre, enabling interested farmers to gain knowledge and skills in organic and agroecological practices. Through this network, interested farmers will be exposed to innovative techniques that promote the health of soil, water, and biodiversity, without chemical inputs.
POETCom aims to foster sustainable farming practices, increase food security, and empower local communities through capacity-building programs. Florence Rahiria, the Acting Deputy Director of the Land Resources Division in SPC, shared in her opening remarks that encouraging organic farming in Nauru is not just a responsibility towards the environment but also a commitment to the health and well-being of Nauruan people.
The Nauru Organic Learning Farms Network launch results from a close collaborative effort from SPC, the Kiwa Initiative and the Nauru Government. The learning centre will be a hub for the transference of knowledge that will ensure the transition from current farming practices to those that are more agroecological, particularly organic practices. Monday’s launch represents a major step forward for the organic movement as it works towards the positive agroecological transformation of Pacific food systems.