Training empowers South Choiseul Kava farmers

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Total of 30 farmers has successfully completed two days of Kava training workshop held at Sivai community, Katupika ward 2 in South Choiseul Province recently.

Taqu Conservation and Marine Protected Area financed the training through the management of Chief David Hakezama from Boeboe village and facilitated by Chief Field Officer (CFO) from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), Extension Department in Honiara, MacDonald Hiva and James Tahopa, Senior Field Officer (SFO) for Western Province Extension office.

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Farmer participants from villages including Boeboe, Sivai, Makaqa, Viviruni, Ludurango, Zarana, Lituni, Potutu, Luqubule and Taqu Island attended the training.

Purpose of the training is to guarantee farmers know the importance of growing kava in Solomon Islands; able to learn the agronomic practices of growing kava and to learn and be able to identify the noble varieties of kava from the wild varieties.

In his opening remarks, Provincial Member for Katupika ward 2, Honourable Benjamin Harrison stressed the importance of engaging in income generating activities and kava development is one apart from copra production.

He further emphasised the importance of the Katupika farmers to actively participate in agricultural activities as one source of livelihood for the rural people.

Topics covered include;

  • History and importance of kava in SI
  • Varieties and characteristics
  • Nursery establishment & methods
  • Planting methods & land preparation
  • Variety identification and Pruning
  • Earthing/mounding and spacing
  • Shade management and nursery

Planting materials were also supplied to all the participants after the workshop by Taqu management.

Trainer and CFO for MAL, MacDonald Hiva said participants had expressed joy and gratitude toward the training as this has been the first ever training for them to have, especially, on kava and they have learned a lot from it.

“For those who have planted kava, they will improve and corrected some of the practices not properly done after the workshop. For those who have received new planting materials, they will commence on nursery and try to apply what they have learned during the two days’ workshop,” CFO Hiva said.

In his closing remarks, board member of Anarvon Conservation management Mr. Rence expressed his delight with the training and thanked Taqu management for supporting the training initiative as an avenue to empower the rural people of Katupika.

“Under the Anarvon management household survey, it was found that in Katupika, marine resource is rated number one and Agriculture is the second priority according to the Katupika traditional livelihood practices.”

Host community (Sivai) supported the training by providing free accommodation and venue while the United Church Women Fellowship (UCWF) group in Sivai was acknowledged for their assistance on catering services.

Mr. Rence then recognised Chief Poloso for his consent to host the kava training as well as the permission to use his kava plot for practical purposes.

He also thanked James Tahopa and MacDonald Hiva from MAL for facilitating the training to Katupika ward farmers and everyone who contributed towards the success of the two days practical training.

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