Ngeremlengui, Palau – Poultry and vegetable farming equipment was provided to farmers in the Ngeremlengui State of Palau, earlier this month, under stage one of the Micronesia COVID-19 Response (MICCO19) project.
MICC019 was launched as a short-term response to the impacts of COVID-19 on food security and is funded by the European Union and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) with the generous support of the American people. In Palau, the project is implemented by the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Land Resources Division in collaboration with the Bureau of Agriculture and involves support from the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund and the Palau Community Action Agency.
The project targets 65 farmers across 13 States in Palau to provide readily built chicken coops with a chicken feeder trough and drinker, 24 chicks and a 3-month supply of chicken feed. Training for regular chicken feeding will be provided, in addition to training on manure collection for natural fertiliser conversion.
The Director of the Bureau of Agriculture Fred Sengebau said COVID-19 has had a negative effect on families’ livelihood and MICCO19 will assist low-income families to put food on the table and earn money for other living expenses.
“Suitable equipment design and training will ensure participating farmers can produce quality poultry meat and easily utilise chicken manure for composting and vegetable production,” he explained.
Ngeremlengui State’s Babeldaob Island was the first area of implementation, with 5 farmers receiving the equipment, including a demonstration and additional training.
“I feel that a challenge for many of the farmers in my state is that we have not managed to produce beyond household consumption and have not been able to produce enough to meet the needs of the community,” said Davis Tamtreng, one of the participating farmers in Ngeremlengui.
“MICCO19 will help improve accessibility to fresh meat but I am especially excited for the provision of chicken manure to enhance my composting of my vegetable garden. This type of assistance will encourage others in the community as well who may be thinking about farming,” he added.
A nursery will be established in a community agricultural extension facility, a state-designated site to store vegetable seedlings that can be accessed by the community.
Project implementation in Palau will introduce a community-based integrated farming system for backyard poultry and vegetable farming to boost local production.
“We’re excited to see the MICCO19 project implementation begin in Palau and hope to further our commitment to empower communities and promote good governance. This is key to improving food and nutrition security and we acknowledge the great partnerships that have been able to foster this, and great work being done by the Bureau of Agriculture and the Palau Community Action Agency,” said Karen Mapusua, Director of SPC’s Land Resources Division. Mapusua added that amid the uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, food insecurity was a rising issue globally and it needs to be addressed through a people-centred approach, such as that implemented by MICCO19.