About 12000 people from the 12 ward councils in the basin of Mt Bosavi have taken much interest in Agriculture.
Many in the area are subsistence farmers, farming for their daily survival but all this has changed in recent times when the Mt Bosavi Sustainable Agriculture Development Corporation came into place to help these people take their subsistence farming to the next level.
Early last year the Mt Bosavi Sustainable Agriculture Corporations started to introduce the idea of food security and the idea of commercial farming to the local farmers.
These people are now introduced to vanilla, cocoa and even betelnut farming for commercial purposes.
Chairman for Mt Bosavi Sustainable Agriculture Development Corporation Mr Andrew Awabi said they are carrying out trainings with the local farmers on how to use pumps and fertilizers and trainings also on how they can do proper commercial farming.
“Mt Bosavi has one of the richest soils in the country and everything can grow perfectly all year round and the bearings are often very big and we want to extend and expand to commercial farming so that these local farmers can also benefit from the commercial side of it,” said Mr Awabi.
“We want to make Mt Bosavi the next supplier of fresh produce to the country and if possible, the next supplier of commercial cash crops to the export market.”
“This is the dream of Mt Bosavi Sustainable Agriculture Corporation, to change the lives of the forgotten people of Mt Bosavi,” Mr Awabi added.
Mt Bosavi Sustainable Agriculture Development Corporation is also introducing, turtle farming, cow farming, piggery, and crocodile farming to the people of Mt Bosavi.
Mr Awabi says they are introducing this to the people to help them get into agriculture and livestock businesses, and this is phase one where these locals get the trainings they need to raise live stocks.
Despite having such a high number of interested locals taking part in these programs the only problem now is road access.
“The sad fact is that much of this produce will go to waste because there is no road access to bring the produce to big markets.”
“Can the government remember us and create road access for us because we have been living in isolation for generations and with the current agriculture and livestock developments happening on the ground, we want to bring all these produces to markets and change our lives,” says Mr Awabi.
Mr Awabai however, thanks the Southern Highlands Provincial Government for the recent funding of K1M to the people of Mt Bosavi as this funding will help fund the agriculture and livestock trainings as well as help the farmers in buying tools, seedlings and also, it will assist to sustain their rural markets.
“The people of Mt Bosavi are taking their chances with hopes that one day they will have road access to sell all their produce and they commit 100% to all the trainings that are being carried out by Mt Bosavi Sustainable Agriculture Development Corporation,” says Mr Awabi.
Mr Awabi also mentioned that for now the people of Bosavi can only harvest and give their produce to boarding schools as food security within the Bosavi area and others sell in small markets to get a little income because there is no road access at all and their only wish now is to see a road link via Southern Highlands Province.
“Mt Bosavi can become the next agricultural hub in the country if only we have road access and we are hoping that this will happen sooner.” Mr Awabi said.