The Kayangel State Food Security Resilience Project, which financed the planting of home-gardens for each house on Kayangel Islet, had its first corn harvest this month.
The project, which was funded by the India-Palau Small Grants Program, consisted of building 27 table gardens for the households, as well as a community garden, where crops such as corn, bananas, tapiocas, coconut, and potatoes were farmed for public consumption.
The project is aimed at promoting food security as well as environmental health in Kayangel State. The Project Report submitted to the Office of the President in May of this year states that the efforts involved in the home-gardening project also included clearing trash around houses, and that every home in Kayangel now has a personal table-garden for vegetables.
The Chairperson of the Project, Ms. SiscaSkiwo of Kayangel State Legislature, said that the development of the project was largely in response to the damage wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. The superstorm destroyed much of the island’s crop systems, and after that access to healthy food was scarce.
“After Typhoon Haiyan we had to revive everything,” said Ms. Skiwo. “Now people can eat healthy food, like corn.”
The grant funds, totaling $9,193, were used to purchase soil and tools for tilling and building the tabletop gardens. Many of the plants were donated by the Ministry of Natural Resources Bureau of Agriculture and the Taiwan Embassy, as well as Francisca Skiwo of the Kayangel State Legislature, who donated the corn seeds.
Four staff personnel from Koror State Government provided demonstrations for the people of Kayangel on how to construct table gardens, mix soil, and plant napa.
Kayangel State Governor Richard Ngiraked said that Kayangel is increasingly relying on locally-grown food, which is healthier and causes less sickness than the imported foods which can be purchased in the island’s one convenience store. He added that the food being grown and much of the fish being caught by locals still residing in Kayangel is generally for subsistence living, not for selling.
“In Kayangel, we don’t market our food,” said Governor Ngiraked. “It’s just a small island, so we don’t sell what we grow. It’s for us.”

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