Farmers exchange experiences on sustainable farming

Pacific Ecosystem-Based Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PEBACC) project manager Herman Timmermans. Picture SUPPLIED

ABOUT 15 farmers converged on Taveuni with the mission to protect the environment and practise sustainable farming methods.

The week-long program, organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) for its Pacific Ecosystem-Based Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PEBACC) catered for farmers from Kadavu and Taveuni.

PEBACC project manager Herman Timmermans said the training was organised as part of an exchange program between the two groups as farming opportunities thrived in both islands of Taveuni and Kadavu.

“We hosted this exchange program to bring in farmers from the third and fourth biggest islands in Fiji and provide them the opportunity to learn from their different experiences in tourism and farming as well,” he said last week.

“So the farmers from Kadavu showed an interest in tourism developments on Taveuni and wanted to learn from it, while the farmers in Taveuni wanted to know more about the organic farming methods used on Kadavu.

“This project through PEBACC enables us to work with communities on how to manage their environment and finding ways of adapting to issues of climate change based on ecosystems.”

Mr Timmermans said that having a healthy ecosystem would result in healthy environment and healthy communities.

“And these communities become more resilient because a healthy ecosystem means they can withstand the issues brought about by climate change,” he said.

“For Fiji, we work in Macuata and Taveuni and our focus is on reforestation and also supports agroforestry as a lot of trees have been cut down and people are moving inland for fertile soil to do their farming.

“So instead of cutting down trees, farmers can plant in between the trees because they need the trees to capture the rain.”

The program, he said, had been a successful one as farmers learnt a lot about the importance of having a healthy ecosystem to save the environment.

The group from Taveuni will be in Kadavu this week for a similar training.

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