28 Sep 2015

Growing Kiribati crops hard but possible

9:51 am on 28 September 2015

Farms and gardens are growing in popularity in Kiribati despite assertions the country has hardly any fruit.

An i-Kiribati man, Ioane Teitiota, was recently deported to Kiribati from New Zealand after a failed bid to claim refuge from the effects of climate change.

His supporters said he and his family would struggle to adjust to Kiribati life because it is difficult to grow food and there is hardly any fruit.

But a volunteer urban planner for Volunteer Services Abroad, Shifani Sood, who has just spent a year in Kiribati, says growing food is not impossible.

"Food can be grown, it's just that you need different techniques and people are teaching as well, you do see seedlings on the side of the road and learning gardens within Tarawa where people are teaching how to use local food, and there are cooking classes going on with what you can do, [or] stuff you can cook from what's existing."

Shifani Sood says there is a large farm on Tarawa and plans to construct a second one and gardening knowledge is slowly spreading throughout the community.

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