by Vanessa Knight – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The PNG Forestry Association has launched a tree growers toolkit, which will enable tree farmers to venture into small holder plantation forestry.
Agriculture advocates and agents from around the country attended a four-day workshop at the National Research Institute this week, to learn about the Australian Government funded research development project, specifically designed for Papua New Guinea.
Tony Page from the University of Sunshine Coast has been working with Simon Rollinson of Pacific Island Projects to develop a whole series of s for farmers and interested agents to progress small holder forestry in the country.
The s are featured through videos, presentations, activities, audio recordings, factsheets and a range of tools, covering a range of different species, however the primary focus is on sandalwood and teak, which currently has a high market value.
The team has also managed to structure some of the s to meet the current PNG education syllabus, and hope to introduce the materials to PNG schools after piloting the project.
Through consultation with the Division of Education in East New Britain, the proposed school toolkits have received a positive response from schools and teachers.
The materials are arranged according to the outcome based education system, and covers topics including agriculture, forestry, environmental studies and conservation for elementary, primary and secondary school levels.
Although necessary steps are yet to be undertaken to have the s approved and introduced into schools, the team is looking forward to begin piloting the project in East New Britain schools.