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News From Overseas

Taiwan Technical Mission in Kiribati Transfers Nursery Operations to Local Farmers

Source: Mauri- Weekly Newspaper

Publication date: 2011/06/10

Mission: Taiwan Technical Mission in the Republic of Kiribati

Leaders of extension groups from Betio Town Council and Teinainano Urban Council attended a Community Seminar in Temaiku Tuesday morning as part of the Taiwan Technical Mission’s (TTM) Horticulture Project. During the seminar, participants learned that vegetable seedlings previously provided from the TTM’s demonstration farm would now be distributed, freely, from three new nurseries that the TTM has established in Eita, Teaoraereke and Betio.

The seminar, attended by more than 80 participants, was hosted by Daniel Lee, a specialist working full-time on the Horticulture Project. “The Taiwan Technical Mission is committed to helping I-Kiribati farmers to establish their own nurseries,” said Mr. Lee. “Everything that farmers have learned from us over the past few years should prove to be very useful into the future.”

All vegetable seedlings distributed by the TTM have previously been given away for free. The focus of efforts for Mr. Lee and his colleagues will now shift to transferring the propagation of seedlings to the three new nurseries while passing relevant skills and know-how on to local farmers.

Farmers who attended the seminar had plenty of questions, and were particularly keen to know why the TTM had decided to establish the nurseries in Eita, Teaoraereke and Betio. “After surveying a number of sites in South Tarawa over three months, the TTM chose locations that were close to main roads,” Mr. Lee explained. The sites also had good sources of water and local farming groups could prove their ownership of the land, he added.

Mr. Lee went on to inform participants about an updated timetable for distribution of seedlings. Local farming groups from Betio, Bairiki and Nanikaai would be able to collect seedling at the BTC Center on July 8; groups from Taborio to Teaoraereke could collect from the Evergreen Teaoraereke Center on June 30; and those from Buota, Bonriki, Temaiku, Nawerewere, Bikenibeu and Eita people could collect from the Tenanoraoi Eita Center on June 25. Seedlings would be distributed for free on these dates, he said, after which nurseries would sell further supplies in trays of 50 plants, at a cost of $3 per tray.

In the afternoon, the TTM organized a cooking class taught by two local citizens, Mrs. Tekori and Mrs. Sarah, and Mr. Ching Win-jin, a volunteer instructor assigned to the Horticulture Project. “We know many people aren’t sure how to cook vegetables such as sweet potato leaves, capsicum, pumpkin, tomato and eggplants,” Mr. Ching told the class, “so today we’re going to show you how to cook delicious dishes using a range of local fruits and vegetables.”

The cookery students enjoyed the class and later expressed their appreciation to TTM specialists for their efforts. At the end of the session, teachers and students gathered together to enjoy a healthy, balanced meal and celebrate the day’s successes.

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  • Date:2011/7/1