Organic farmers in the Solomon Islands that have moved away from synthetic fertilizers were recently trained in tools for agroecology performance evaluation (TAPE) that will help ensure healthier soil, and in turn lead to healthier people, families and community. This two-day training from 26 – 27 October, 2022 ensured farmers had an understanding of Agroecology principles and methodologies, and the performance evaluation tool to use on their organic farms.
The TAPE training was led by The Kiwa Initiative Pacific Organic Learning Farms Network (POLFN) team under the SPC Pacific Organic Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) initiative. Participants included Kastom Gaden Association (KGA), Solagro and MK Farm representatives.
POETCom Agroecology and Organic Productions Systems Officer, Mrs Fuatino Fatiaki stated, “We are working to support and build agroecological farming systems within our members in the four POLFN countries i.e. Fiji, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Tonga to co-create locally adapted farming systems that will help improve climate resilience, biodiversity conservation and food security for our Pacific Island Communities.”
Dr Shane Tutua from the Zai Na Tina Organic farm in the Solomon Islands gave a strong recommendation that young people and national governments should be at the forefront of the organic movement so that policies are developed that will better allow for farmers to practice organic agroecological methods. Tutua emphasized the need for Climate Change mitigation in: “We have seen the impacts of Climate change .. . in terms of the yield of our crops, pests are attaching our crops, we have unusually longer wet and dry seasons that are affecting crop production and yield. We hope through the Kiwa Initiative, we’ll be able to promote climate change adaptations in our farming systems by increasing biodiversity, promoting nature based solutions that are developed by our own people.”
Agroecology is the ecology of a food system that helps to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions by promoting integrated production systems that are less dependent on energy from fossil fuels, and that store carbon. POETCom promotes agroecology for adaptation in the local context, where Pacific Island communities can practically input its concepts to help to protect, restore and improve agriculture and food systems in the face of climate shocks and stressors.
The Pacific Organic Learning Farms Network (POLFN), a regional project financed by the Kiwa Initiative, aims to develop organic farming systems as Nature-based Solutions for food security, climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation to build the resilience of smallholder farmers in Fiji, Nauru, Tonga and the Solomon Islands.
For more information about the Kiwa POLFN project see: https://kiwainitiative.org/en/projects/an-organic-learning-farm-network-to-build-the-climate-resilience-of-smallholder-producers-in-the-pacific
Queries can be sent to POETCom Communications Assistant, Vilimaina Tamata – firstname.lastname@example.org