MORE than 100 villagers in Korotubu within the district of Sasa in Macuata have benefited from a piggery compost project funded by the Global Environment Facility.
Uluisori Women's Club co-ordinator Emele Naikabe said they count themselves blessed to be part of the project.
Mrs Naikabe said they had learnt a lot from World Wide Fund for Nature personnel who acted as trainers to villagers on the eco-friendly ways of managing the piggery.
"We are so lucky to have learnt a lot about respecting the environment as our piggery is self-contained in that none of its by-products is permitted to reach our fishing grounds," she said.
"Sawdust is used as flooring for the piggery and this provides the best organic manure for farmers in the village. All water drained from the piggery is kept in a pond where watercress is planted providing food for the pigs."
Korotubu Village headman Noa Soroaqali said the farmers had begun experiencing first-hand the benefits of using organic manure.
Mr Soroaqali said the crop yields had not changed and remained bountiful, at the same time reassuring them that their environment was safe.
"The piggery has even supplied us with meat for ceremonial gatherings and we have yet to begin selling pigs from our organic piggery," he said.
"And all proceeds will be put into the village account for development projects.
"Currently, we have 12 pigs in the piggery and we are expecting more through the year. The project has opened our eyes and taught us a lot about the conservation of the environment we live in."
North WWF field officer Kolinio Musudroka says the project is titled "Toward an environmentally sustainable community" and was started in 2009.
"The project has four main components that would help out the community engage in conservation effort regarding the available resources they have."