Trukai donates Village Sustainability Kits to Milne Bay farmer

Trukai donates Village Sustainability Kits to Milne Bay farmer

Trukai donates Village Sustainability Kits to Milne Bay farmer

A former Trukai Smart Farmer Program participant has been recognised as a model rice farmer following his initiative and innovation to incorporate best farming practices in his village, making him the recipient of a Village Sustainability Kit (VSK). 

The Village Sustainability Kit is a rice farming kit that is given to genuine rice farmers under Trukai Industries’ Small Holder Rice Development Program to encourage them to develop their rice farming ventures. 

Noah Taugaloidi from Wamira Village, Milne Bay Province was the proud recipient of the VSK demonstrating Trukai Industries’ significant stride towards sustainable agriculture practices.  

Trukai Industries, through its Small Holder Rice Development Program, not only provides the Village Sustainability Kit but also offers technical expertise and paddy market access. The VSK includes essential tools such as a solar rice mill kit, power tiller, manual seeders, knapsacks, sickles and rice seedlings. 

To become a model farmer under Trukai’s Small Holder Development Program, candidates must manage a hectare or more of rice fields, displaying both expertise and a commitment to rice cultivation. In addition, farmers must not only excel in their own fields but also serve as influential figures in their communities, inspiring and guiding their community to adopt best practices.  

The Village Sustainability Kits are equipped to cater to the unique needs of rice farmers transitioning from sustainable rice farming to commercial. The company has chosen model farmers like Taugaloidi and his community to act as caretakers of the equipment, with a focus on fostering this transition. 

Trukai Industries’ Rice Development Manager, Aina Davis while presenting the kit emphasised on the transformative impact it will have on their farming practices. She urged the farmers to take ownership of the VSKs, emphasizing that the support provided by Trukai Industries would prove beneficial in the long run. 

"Wamira, this is the time for you to become commercialized rice farmers and I urge you all to take ownership of this farming program and the Village Sustainability Kits, which will help you in the long run," said Davis.  

Taugaloidi expressed his gratitude for Trukai Industries' support, acknowledging the company's recognition of their efforts as village rice farmers. He also highlighted the positive impact the village sustainability kit will have on his community and the skillsets imparted by Trukai through its Smart Farmer Program.   

“It has been a long time coming, and I know that the Smart Farmer program is a game changer in the agriculture industry, it gives knowledge back to our local people. The Village Sustainability Kits and the knowledge I have gained will greatly impact my community.  

CEO of Trukai Industries, Alan Preston, highlighted the importance of the Small Holder Rice Development Program. 

“The aim of this program is to support food security by maximising local rice production. It also helps to equip small holder rice farmers as they transition into semi commercial farmers then into commercial rice farmers,” said Preston.  

Wamira Village traditionally has an irrigated gardening technique where they have used this to grow taro. By utilising this established technique, the villages now have an advantage to grow rice and the donation of the VSK is an added bonus to assist them with their rice growing.  

Paramount Chief of Wamira Village, Watson Taubobori said, “Traditionally our ancestors redirected the main river, which travels miles inland, bringing fresh water that flowed directly to nourish our taro gardens. This system is still being used today.”  

“It was as if we were always meant to grow rice here at Wamira, and now with our Village Sustainability Kit plus the training provided through the Smart Farmer Program, our people can utilize rice farming, eliminating the long travel to go to town to buy just one bag of rice,” said Taubobori.  

Trukai Industries has distributed VSKs to genuine rice farmers since 2011 under its various rice development programs and it aims to identify more genuine rice farmers through its Smart Farmer Program. This transformative training is crafted to enhance the capabilities of local rice farmers, guiding them as they transition from conventional dry land to modern irrigated rice farming methods.  

Trukai's profound impact extends over 30 years of significant investment in rice research and technology. This long-standing commitment underscores the company's dedication to enhancing the standards of rice cultivation, fostering a resilient and prosperous agricultural landscape in Papua New Guinea.