Villagers learn food preservation techniques

Women of Navotua Village in Nacula, Yasawa, have mastered food preservation techniques without the use of technology.

During the Navotua Open Day celebrated this week, seven women from the village showcased how fresh produce from their gardens could be preserved.

Under the WWF Pacific’s Building the Resilience of the Pacific through Disaster Preparedness project, the women of Navotua use their environment to preserve vegetables, breadfruit, bananas and root crops.

Villager Teresia Neivoce said her family’s vegetable produce were preserved in two pots filled with sand.

She said the technique involved adding water frequently to the sand to cool the vegetables.

“We live far away from the nearest town and we don’t have consistent supply of electricity,” she said.

“So we don’t have a proper place to keep our vegetables.

“With this method, we can keep our vegetables for up to one week.”

Another method the women were taught was the preservation of breadfruit in a sand pit.

Ms Neivoce said the crop could be kept for up to six months using this strategy.

“We use breadfruit to make traditional Fijian bread. Some people use cassava and this is one way we use breadfruit too.”

Six other women in the village have also adopted the preservation techniques.

WWF Pacific consultant Apiame Cegumalua said the villagers were very receptive of the food preservation method.

“It is very encouraging to see them adopting these new ways to preserve food,” she said.

According to WWF Pacific, disaster preparedness activities include disaster proofing evacuation centres and homes and increasing food security.

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