The communities are Vanlimsi, Panas, Wali, Pangi, Bay Homo, Ranputor, Wanur, Londar, Bay Marteli, Point Cross, Ranwas and Bunlap.
Eleven community agroforestry nurseries were set up in the areas and families have been taking vegetable seedlings to start their own gardens.
The nurseries are part of the Livelihood Recovery Programme in communities located around the proposed Bay Homo Community Conservation area in South Pentecost.
The main objective is to contribute to restoring local livelihood base and improve food security and nutrition.
This is being achieved by the rehabilitation and establishment of agro forests and community-based nurseries and household food security practices in the affected areas of South Pentecost.
The activity is part of the Integrated Sustainable Land and Coastal Management (ISLCM) project, which aims to implement sustainable and integrated management of forest, land and marine resources.
A team comprising of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Global Environment Facility (GEF-5) Project Officers and members of the FAO GEF-5 ISLCM project is currently visiting the communities to monitor the progress of the established nurseries.
GEF-5 Project Officer of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mathias Bule who is currently on South Pentecost said, “The team has monitored the work implemented by the farmers commencing from the nurseries to transplanting of vegetable seedlings in their backyard.”
“The visiting team also assisted the communities in establishing five root crop (manioc and kumala) multiplication plots on Wali, Vanlimsi, Ranputor, Wanur and Point Cross.
“The root crop multiplication plots were established purposely to provide planting materials to farmers on South Pentecost in good times and during time of disasters.”
Reginald Bebe from Wali village, is a local farmer and a community leader who has applauded the GEF-5 project officers for the great work done to engage the people on South Pentecost in backyard gardening.
“Now the people are accessing fresh vegetables from their backyard gardens. Growing vegetables is not a normal activity for the local farmers here but since the initiative of growing vegetables has started on July, it stimulated the farmers’ interest to set up backyard gardens.
“Backyard gardening has helped us not to walk long distance to our gardens to access island cabbages or bush cabbages instead we have access to fresh vegetables right at our doorsteps.