Sapuka community celebrate first harvest of rice at site 1 , Zirugu, Suki Fly Gogo Trust region, South Fly

Sapuka Village Planning Committee (VPC) Chairman Mr. Keith Ani, welcomed OTDF management and staff to Sapuka rice project sites at Zirugu on 10 October.

He said his community have  great interest and requested additional agricultural technical support from partners.

“We planted 1.5 hectares of rice in site 1 using manual labour and have so far harvested 500 kilograms of rice. The community are preparing another 1 hectare for planting in site 2, located near the Primary School,” he added.

VPC Ani said at the moment work is labour intensive and we ask for machinery support to increase the area farmed.

“70-year-old Jacob Kurga, the principal landowner of Zirugu where site one is located, was delighted to have the OTDF management team visit. He said: “I am happy for the rice trial to be on my land, I wish for more projects to be delivered here.”

OTDF Regional Development Team Leader Philemon Nahuet says the Food Security program complements the OTDF Strategic Business Plan 2021-2025 by engaging households in the CMCA from Middle and South Fly with rice seeds by establishing multiplication sites giving farmers more accessibility to seeds for planting.

The Centralised Seed Bank Centres (CSBC) will be strategically located in villages along the Fly River corridor. “At present Pukaduka 1 villagers have started planting rice while the leading South Fly village planting rice is Sapuka and Kawiapo who will process and pack their rice in their village after harvesting.”

OTDF supplied rice seeds to encourage farmers in the CMCA to engage in agriculture, starting with Sapuka.

An OTDF delegation visited the completed seed bank facility, which has 500 kilograms of rice seeds in storage. The facility was built by village builders under the supervision of OTDF infrastructure officer

Billy Iwora. The aim is to increase accessibility to seeds for planting on time and a venue for farmer training.

Centralised Seed Bank Centers provides accessibility

Seed bank at Sapuka village, Suki Fly Gogo Trust region, South Fly 

The second CSBC will be established at Kawiapo village in the Manawete Trust region of South Fly. The community planted 1.5 hectares of rice early this year and is preparing to harvest. Meanwhile, Pukaduka 1 villagers out of interest started planting rice.

OTDF executive management team were impressed by the extent of the work done by the community. “Our focus is the smallholder farmers in our villages in the CMCA Trust regions. We must empower them with appropriate skills and knowledge to operate on their own without continuous OTDF support.”

OTDF CEO Havini Vira recognised the critical need to address the high dependence in CMCA villages on cash compensation from OTML.

Developing diversified income streams is essential for the future and empowering households to be food secure also can address income generation concerns.


OTDF Media