The Nadroumai Women’s Club in Western Viti Levu convened on the coral coast, last week, to celebrate a successful agroforestry project that will provide benefits for future generations.
The project, “Enhancing value-added products and environmental benefits from agroforestry systems in the Pacific” is wrapping up with a list of forward-looking achievements that will provide income, sustenance and climate change mitigation benefits for years.
As the project comes to a close, skills in agroforestry and farming will be passed on to new generations of village women. “Weather and climate change has affected our forests and village, causing more floods and taking away income from our river,” states Women’s Club member Amele Nauga. “The young girls in this village are the mothers of tomorrow. The fruit and other trees here are our main source of income for the future, and we must teach the children that.”
The project led to an expansion of the village’s planted agroforestry acreage from one acre four years ago to ten acres today. The Women’s Group tree nursery successfully produced seedlings that were used to rehabilitate the Nadroumai water catchment. Women participants in the initiative grew from 10 to 20, and club savings from the project are now being used towards village development projects.
“The Nadroumai women have shown the power of working together to build a business that contributes to community well-being,” said Dr. Nora Devoe, the Research Program Manager for Forestry at ACIAR.
The Pacific Community (SPC) is continuing to work with the Women’s Club to build links with the tourism industry along the Coral Coast. “After a year of COVID-19 disruptions, the women of Nadroumai village have shown that agroforestry can be a key to community harmony, development and resilience,” said Karen Mapusua, Director of SPC’s Land Resources Division (LRD). “SPC salutes their lasting success, and support throughout the Pacific for local women-run businesses such as this one is vital if we are to overcome the Pacific’s ever-growing climate change and development challenges.”
The end of project event was hosted at the Shangri-La hotel on the Coral Coast and was attended by Nadroumai Women’s Group members, Nadroumai village heads and counterparts, the Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Itaukei Affairs and project administrators and donors, SPC and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
The one-day meeting concluded with a project hand-over to the Nadroumai community, in addition to handing over of payment for seedlings SPC had purchased from the Women’s Club. The relevant Fiji Ministries have taken on the role of continuing with the project.
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