News 21 Aug 2018
A new technique developed by the Morobe Fisheries Cooperative Society is picking up interest among communities. This was revealed by Albertha Tumune, a representative from the society during the APEC food security summit recently in Port Moresby.
She highlighted real experiences that smallholder women farmers are going through with agriculture and fisheries in the province and was hoping that this innovation will change people’s livelihood.
‘’It’s a technology that we recently developed as a result of climate change effects, environmental damages, bleaching of coral reefs and depletion of stock, so it had helped or stimulated the thoughts of cooperatives to go into another step of farming,” said Ms Tumune.
There are 700 aqua phonic farmers while three quarters of the populations are into aquaculture and having been doing small-scale fish farming for consumption and the surplus is sold. This is mainly to promote food security and complement their diets.
She said that irregularities on fish feeds have been a problem for the local farmers.
‘’In Papua New Guinea we don’t have a regular supply of fish feed (example Niugini Table bird assist their farmers by providing them feeds). Unlike aqua culture and aqua phonics, we don’t have large companies producing fish feed so that is a challenge for us.
“At the moment we have our parent company National Fisheries Authority, which tries to fill the gap by bringing fish feed from overseas and they sell to fish farmers. It’s working only in the urban areas and not in rural areas,” she said.
She explained that this aqua phonic technology has been trialed among community farmers in the province and has received positive response.
Alternative materials have been identified to implement the project while waiting for manufactured PVC pole liners and air raters from Asia.
Ms Tumune expressed gratitude towards the opportunity APEC has provided for her and the smallholder farmers
“It is important we attend such meetings to network with the other economies. We are convinced that our produce is organic and I’m amazed that many economies are interested in our organic grown food, vegetables and fish.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to build our network and find external investors who are interested to buy from us,” she said.
It is anticipated that the pilot project will be implemented next month once the materials are brought in. Identified areas are, Markham, Wampar LLG, Kaiapit and Bumayong and Situm.
Source: Post Courier