LLG Embraces Chili Project

Interest in chili production among farmers in Livuan Reimber LLG of Gazelle District in East New Britain is picking up momentum.

Following the COVID-19 mass awareness that was carried out in May 2020 in the Livuan Reimber LLG, the chilli project was identified and established based on farmers’ interest and discretion by ward members.

Rural Development Officer, Theresa Kikil said some of the farmers owned big land mass to cater for both long and short terms crops, while for those that owned limited land mass, chilli was introduced to them to utilize their backyards.

“This was in order to alleviate poverty and continue to sustain their living through using their own land, increase the production of food and to grow the local economy,” she said.

Two trainings were conducted by Eco-Link Consultancy in July 2021 for wards in Livuan and Reimber which comprised of 194 participants including respective ward members and the ward development committees. Awareness was conducted throughout the 29 wards in Livuan Reimber LLG that later saw 1000 farmers supplied with chilli seedlings.

Despite most of the plants being destroyed by drought last year, production is slowly picking up and farmers from Ratongor, Vunalir, Raluana 3, Vunalaiting, Volavolo Rasimen, Lungalunga, Vunairoto, and Ramalmal Meilivuan have started selling their produce to a chillie deport owned by the Grain to Mouth Distributor (GTM) Company located at Baliora.

Ms Kikil said chilli is a short-term crop meaning it takes 3 to 4 months before it is ready to harvest and has a life span of 14 months hence the keen interest by farmers in this project. Regular harvesting is done every week.

“We have predicted a chilli production surge in the mid-year. This project is sustainable and is being effectively carried out in the wards with farmers utilizing their acquired knowledge on crop growth development and the maturity stages to the marketing process,” she said.

To encourage farmers to save wisely, payouts are made to East New Britain Savings and Loans Society where farmers are encouraged to open new accounts and no cash payments are entertained.

Gazelle District Administrator, Hubert Wangun and Livuan Reimber LLG manager Orim Popon both commended this initiative saying the Gazelle district is keen to see innovation in agricultural and livestock projects.

“Chillie is charged at a rate of K3 per kilogram, 1kg of chilli can be derived from two harvested chilli plants and if a farmer grows 400 chilli plants, they are able to earn K600 per week,” Mr Wangun said.

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