News: Farmer training in Indonesia, June 2015

Earlier this year, the Crawford Fund supported the attendance of seven technical staff from the Manokwari Agricultural Extension Academy (STPP) and NGOs to an Extension Workshop, held in Makassar, Indonesia.

The workshop related to two long-running ACIAR Projects. The projects were designed to alleviate poverty and provide food security through improving the sweetpotato-pig systems in Papua Indonesia, and moving farmers from subsistence to small commercial production through diversification of cropping and livestock production. The workshop aimed to develop contingency plans for ongoing extension activities after the ACIAR projects come to an end.

During the workshop, participants were presented with an overview of the project outcomes, together with a series of training materials and training models for the various production systems. The extension material consisted of three levels of information transfer:

  • A book containing detailed information, including how to build, develop, operate and manage each system
  • A series of single one page “fact sheets” which provide the basic information needed to establish and operate each animal production or cropping system
  • One page posters with diagrams, drawings and minimal written text for people who cannot read.

The Training Modules covered a modified pig confinement production system, village rabbit and poultry production, sweetpotato cultivation, strawberry production, legume crops, and storage and processing of products. Nine working models of a pig confinement system (PCS) were made available for training farmers. Facilities have also been built by the project team at the Mandiri Rural Training Centre, operated by WVI in Wamena Papua and the STPP in Manokwari, West Papua.

STPP plays a vital role in providing trained extension technicians to local and provincial agencies, and NGOs also play a major role in providing farmer training and technical support in these regions.

Sweet potato tubers with different skin colors, on sale in Indonesia. CC: Wikipedia.

Sweet potato tubers with different skin colors, on sale in Indonesia. CC: Wikipedia.