Promoting Resilience in Food Security in Drought-Prone Communities
Port Moresby – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is working in partnership with the East New Britain Provincial Government, through the Provincial Disaster Centre (PDC), and the Organization for Industrial Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA) Rabaul Ecological Technology Training Centre, to promote resilience in food security in drought-prone communities in Papua New Guinea.
“Worsening droughts, driven by climate change with less precipitation events, are a major cause for concern for Papua New Guinea. Areas of crops affected by droughts are increasing, posing food security challenges to the population. Against this backdrop, with the generous support of our donors, IOM continuously strives to strengthen the resilience of drought-prone communities through improving food security of those in need, including by raising awareness and developing capacities of communities, civil society and local government authorities to address food security challenges that the country faces,” said Serhan Aktoprak, Chief of Mission, IOM Papua New Guinea.
To assist members of vulnerable groups in the drought-prone areas in implementing mitigation measures on disaster risks and sustaining food resilience in their communities, IOM worked in close coordination with the East New Britain Provincial Administration through the PDC and delivered a five-day Food Production Training.
Made possible with the technical support from the OISCA Rabaul Ecological Technology Training Centre, the training brought together 60 participants from Matupit stage four. The program was designed to help vulnerable communities improve household food security and nutrition, resilient livelihoods, and access to income.
The training was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). From nursery to transplanting, participants were introduced to crop cultivation and the importance of crop rotation as part of maintaining soil nourishment. Soil building, organic soil, and liquid fertilizers were also included in the training, with practical demonstrations to promote conservation farming effectively managed at the household level.
Local authorities expressed gratitude for the delivery of the training. The current situation, especially with the prolonged dry spell and water shortages throughout the Gazelle Peninsula, poses a significant challenge to the locals. Therefore, it is critical to apply risk reduction measures to increase resilience in food and livelihood security, such as the knowledge and use of drought-tolerant crop types.
Vicky Wema, a participant from ward 2, appreciated the knowledge gained through the training, particularly on making organic fertilizers with waste and products at their households. “This training has increased my knowledge on conservation farming especially on making organizers,” noted Vicky.
IOM will support the trained farmers with drought-tolerant seedlings and farming tools, including watering cans, to support the implementation of the skills and knowledge they gained from the training. This initiative to promote resilience in food security is funded by USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.