Representatives from Fiji, Nauru, Tonga and Solomon Islands that are members of the Pacific Organic Learning Farms Network (POLFN) have shared experiences with their Pacific French speaking counterparts in an exchange that covered best practices in the field for increasing organic farm yield and boosting livelihoods.
The POLFN team engaged with farmers and producers at the recent Tech & Bio Tradeshow in New Caledonia, a four day exchange in early October that was part of the Pacific Community’s PROTEGE programme that aims to activate a network of demonstration farms with farmers from New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna.
"We had the opportunity to get into the field as close as possible to local farmers to discover the effective methods they have put in place," said Timoci Nakalevu, POLFN Project Manager at the SPC Land Resources Division’s POETCom (Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community) project. “We found that through methods such as rotation farmers can use natural fertilizer from chicken manure to grow vegetables. This method can generate three incomes through the sale of chickens, chicken manure and vegetables.”
The POLFN regional project is funded by the Kiwa Initiative and implemented by POETCom. The Kiwa Initiative aims to develop organic farming systems as nature-based solutions for food security, climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation in order to build the resilience of smallholder farmers in Fiji, Nauru, Tonga and the Solomon Islands.
POETCom Board Chair Sashi Kiran and POETCom Coordinator Jim Pierce were able to sit down with the Presidents of the Chamber of Agriculture of New Caledonia and France during the exchange to discuss possible partnerships in how both France and Fiji can learn from one another in organic farming methods and technologies.
The exchange also included POETCom participation as an exhibitor alongside the Pacific Community at the Tech & Bio exhibition, an international meeting of agricultural professionals that promoted new techniques of organic and alternative production and that was attended by organic and conventional farmers, teachers, students, researchers and agriculture advisors.
For more information about the Kiwa POLFN project see: www.organicpasifika.com
The Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) is a not for profit membership organisation with active members (farmers associations, farmer support organisations, NGOs, private sector, research institutions and working with governments) in 14 countries of the Pacific Island region with the Secretariat hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva, Fiji. POETCom’s mission is to coordinate, share information, support networking, capacity building and to establish a regional certification scheme; to grow the organic and ethical trade movement and contribute to a productive, resilient, sustainable and healthy Pacific Island region. www.organicpasifika.com
The Pacific Community has been supporting sustainable development in the Pacific, through science, knowledge and innovation since 1947. It is the principal intergovernmental organisation in the region, owned and governed by its 27 member countries and territories. www.spc.int
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