A four day training course on Integrated Crop, Soil and Pest Management was held at the Custom Garden Organic Farm.

The training was to embark on the promotion of local food crop development and the production by small holders for food security in the wake of the global food crises.

Speaking at the opening was Jimi Saelea, Director of Agriculture, Research, and Development from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lives stock who regarded the workshop as very fundamental because of the ability for participants to learn the constraints of vegetable production.

Because of the fluctuating food prizes, Mr. Saelea stated that the CNURA government has allocated $25 million dollars in its' supplementary budget for rice development and he hoped that the same would be done to vegetables and other food crops.

He also explained local farmers face many constraints such as that of pests and diseases, soil infertility that limits them from producing enough to bring down prices.

"Integrated Crop Management or ICM was a totally new approach to crop production to understand how the soil and pests relate to vegetable production which is a holistic approach to crop production," says Director, Jimi Saelea.

Mr. Saelea in conclusion thanked the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre [AVRDC] for making the workshop possible to benefit the participants.

The Integrated Crop, Soil and Pest Management workshop will end on Friday and is organized and facilitated by Dr. Manual Palada, Project Manager for the AVRDC, Taiwan and other relevant stakeholders.