The cultivation of paddy rice in the South Fly CMCA (Community Mine Continuation Agreement) area has emerged as a beacon of hope for addressing food scarcity during dry weather periods in Western Province. Villages in the Pukaduka 1 region of the Suki Fly Gogo Trust have achieved significant success in growing paddy rice, employing ingenious irrigation techniques that involve diverting water from the nearby Suki creek into their 20 x 30 rice paddy demonstration plots.
Mr. Sawiam Marei, the OTDF Regional Development Coordinator based in Nakaku, spearheaded this initiative. He received invaluable support from the field base and Livelihood Development team in raising awareness about the Food Security Program during the drought season, aimed at tackling long-term food security challenges.
According to Mr. Marei, the program has distributed an impressive 200 kilograms of paddy rice seeds to a total of 630 farmers residing in nine villages located in the Suki Lagoon area. He emphasized the promising outcomes of the rice cultivation trials, stating, “Both upland rice and paddy-grown rice have been tested, with paddy rice showing higher yields.”
For local farmers like John Dadi, the journey of rice cultivation has been a lesson in patience and diligence. From sowing the seeds to harvesting the rice, it demands time and effort, but the rewards are substantial. Mr. Dadi, speaking on behalf of the community, expressed their enthusiasm for expanding their rice cultivation efforts, thanks to the support they are receiving from OTDF and the valuable knowledge gained through food security awareness programs.
This successful rice cultivation venture not only provides a source of starchy food during dry weather but also signifies a step towards long-term food security for the residents of the South Fly CMCA area. With promising yields and a growing interest among local farmers, this initiative holds the potential to make a significant impact on the region’s agricultural landscape and food availability.