The Growers’ Federation of Tonga – PIFON Training Program in Best Practice Commercial Papaya Production kicked off to a quite successful first day – Wednesday April 08th 2015.
Facilitated by Mr Livai Tora from Fiji, the program is organized into three separate presentations. The first (April 08th and 09th 2015) is for farmers and growers from the Hahake (Eastern) District of the main island of Tongatapu. The second (April 10th and 11th 2015) will be for the Western District – and the third (April 13th and 14th 2015) will be off-island for growers and farmers on the neighbouring island of ‘Eua.
The first day opening schedule commenced with a comprehensive and interactive introductory coverage of critical fundamental background – including the need to recognize that the papaya is a very high-value but yet equally as high-risk crop and that a clear understanding and systematic application of value-chain analysis and approach is at the heart of best-practice sustainable commercial papaya production. The rest of the morning sessions then focused on a detailed exploration of the key lessons and messages of the value-chain concept.
The afternoon session saw the group out at a pre-prepared plot – getting their hands dirty. The field exercise covered mainly practical steps in soil sterilization for good nursery practice; application of manure and fertilizers – and other finer points of transplanting seedlings from nursery trays to the ground. The day then closed with participants getting down and actually transplanting seedlings into the ground
Participant reactions and feed-back and comments were positive and encouraging – with every one looking forward in anticipation to the second and final day.