Roll out of the Food Security Project Activities on Abemama

A team of 12 officials visited Abemama from 26 Oct to 7 Nov, to roll out activities under the Food Security Project, better known as the LDCF project, managed by MELAD, with fund support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and administered by UNDP. The participating Government Divisions are Agriculture, Tourism, Statistics, Local Government, Culture & Museum and Fisheries.

The Agriculture officer selected five (5) sites to establish genebanks or plants variety nurseries which are mostly school based while few are with farmers who are interested to contribute to this initiative. A survey was also undertaken at households on terrestrial food crops to support food security.

The Fisheries team of 3 officials undertook socio-economic household surveys at each village covering more than 30% of household on the island.

The Tourism officer assessed and evaluated accommodations, services, potential tourism activities and attractions on Abemama to determine tourism readiness, issues regarding preservation of key attraction sites and identification of training needs and potential tourism activities

The Local Government team of two, managed to make a first reading of the fisheries management related bye-laws and its second reading after consulting every village. The Statistics team of two officials trained selected Numerators on how to conduct household surveys and supervised these Numerators at each village. The survey covered 10% of households per village.

Lastly, the Culture team of 3 officials worked with villagers from Kabangaki to Reina, firstly with a training workshop for cultivation and planting local food trees was later followed by practical demonstrations at the 7 villages on swamp taro, breadfruit, pandanus and the fig tree. Around 97 participants were involved in this activity with equal numbers of men (48) and women (49). Participants appreciated the workshop and demonstrations, reminding them of the importance of their local trees /crops to be planted for today and the future.

These activities are some initial phases of more activities that will roll out for the remaining 4 years of the project. Abemama is one of the three pilot islands where the Food Security project will be implemented.