Thirty farmers from Madang province had recently participated in a community assessment on animal production, based on NARI-introduced livestock technologies.
They included both model and interested farmers as well as community members who were supported by NARI through a regional research and development project funded by the European Union.
NARI Livestock Scientists Martin Labao, James Tarabu, and Maime Sine travelled to the Murukanam and Derin areas of Madang to carry out the community participatory assessment in early May.
The activity was undertaken under the project to improve the capacity of livestock farmers in the area with livestock management systems and livestock feeding systems.
The NARI staff also took the opportunity to present certificates to other model and interested farmers who had participated in on-site trainings in the two sites in the last couple of years under the program.
The assessment involved feedback from the community, comprising opinions and experiences on the introduced livestock technologies. The introduced technologies included pig management practices, sweet potato silage for pig feed, and fish and duck integration.
Farmers expressed positive views on the technologies that were introduced.
Lobao said previously pigs would roam freely and destroy food gardens creating disharmony among farmers and within the community. He said however as a result of good management practices, pigs are now provided with better housing and husbandry such as tethering.
Farmers who were able to make sweet potato silage and feed it to their pigs saw improvements in pig body size and appearance.
A farmer had reportedly fattened his pigs which were sold for K800 each.
Fish and duck farming techniques showed positive outcomes with farmers wanting to continue in using the technology.
A similar assessment was carried out at Tambul in the Western Highlands province with livestock farmers there.
Model and interested farmers that participated in on-site trainings at Tambul were also presented with certificates.