By Colleen Barilae – EM TV News, Lae
Baiyer, outside of Mt Hagen, is a district slowly recovering from the aftermath of the recent dry spell that has plagued almost all parts of the country.
Subsistence farmers at Kambia Village, Baiyer, say the dry spell’s long-term effects has spoilt most of their gardens leaving many hungry.
A family in the Baiyer area is still feeling the long-term effects of the recent dry spell that killed most of their food crops and dried up nearby creeks.
Their staple crop, kaukau, survived the drought but seeds for other crops like beans and corn were destroyed.
Dick Peme works with the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI). He trains men and women on crop planting techniques and says the recent dry spell made agricultural training difficult. He has helped women in his village with replanting methods but the harvest saw most crops producing less, sometimes withering away before even reaching maturity.
For much of Baiyer, the government’s relief supplies and seedlings have not reached them.
Baiyer, in Western Highlands, is one of many places in Papua New Guinea that has suffered from the dry season.
Food gardens aren’t yielding as much as they used to.
For the past eight months, relief didn’t come to them, and now they have to deal with a lot more rain than they want.