Andrew staking yam at the Kamali seed garden

At 32, Andrew Numa, is an inspiration of sorts. Andrew decided life in Port Moresby was not meant for him and returned to his native Kamali village, Rigo Coast, in the Central province. What is strange and there are not so many Andrews around is that he was born and raised in the city. His parents are well-to-do people; employed in well paid jobs in the city. His family lives in the city. But Andrew decided it was time go back to his roots. While enrolled at the Salvation Army ran school at Koki, he decided to walk away from the city life and comfort of his family in 2005. Sadly it was the end of his education as well.

Now happily married with 3 children, he has settled into village life and farms for a living. ‘I knew life would be tough so I had to put my head into farming as soon as I got back to the village. I have tried many crops like watermelon, capsicum, pak choi and various other crops,’ says Andrew.

Now Andrew is regarded as a model farmer. He is the custodian of the multiplication garden at Kamali established under the EUUCR project. The upkeep and the status the garden indicates the commitment and interest of this young man. Since he came on board with the project, he has done a marvellous job to maintain the seed garden. He has planted the field out with sweetpotato, taro, cassava, and African yam. His effort is slowly but surely changing his status in the local community, commanding respect from his relatives and the Kamali village community as a whole. ‘I am privileged to be engaged with NARI and I hope to show my community the new varieties multiplied here. The community is already showing interest and they are helping me out to maintain the seed garden’, Andrew says. He has promised to share seed materials when they ready with other members of the community who are interested to try out the new varieties.

Andrew is a fine example of people willing to learn and try out new things. For now he is a champion and we are fortunate to have come across such a wonderful young man to work it.