November 27, 2012 marked another milestone for the Government of Pohnpei as the “Project for Dry Litter Piggery in Pohnpei State” was officially kicked off for Pohnpei State Office of Economic Affairs Agricultural division. This project was endorsed on June 28, 2012 under Japan’s Grassroots Human Security grants in the amount of $61,550 to purchase two wood chipper machines and the launching of this said Project has been duly anticipated.
This project couldn’t be more fitting as it is common knowledge that raising pigs on Pohnpei is very important for cultural obligations as well as food security. Pig pens are a common sight on Pohnpei Island and the daily use of water to clean piggeries creates a large volume of polluted water that causes environmental and public health problems as pigs are known to carry diseases such as Leptospirosis.
The introduction of the wood chippers will support compost production and farmers utilizing Dry Litter Piggery technology on Pohnpei and also improve the sanitary of pig pens. Compost is a valuable fertilizer produced from agricultural crops and can be made from wood chips and pig waste. A dry litter piggery does not utilize water to wash pig pens so in this way it will lessen pollution of water. The wood chips can be placed in pig pens to absorb the waste and keep the pens clean with reduced odor and presence of flies. One of the main achievements of this project is that it will utilize simple but effective ways to raise pigs in an eco-friendly and cost-effective way.
Remarks were given by Ambassador Eiichi Suzuki from the Embassy of Japan, Governor John Ehsa, and Mr. Jackson Phillip representing the Piggery Advisory Council. The Project was officially received by Governor Ehsa and in his remarks he stated that the piggery projects are one of the projects that all the resident diplomatic missions have collectively supported, but for this particular project it was a joint effort with the US Government, which provided technical support and the Embassy of Japan, through the granting of the wood chipper machines.
The ceremony was witnessed by Lieutenant Governor Marcelo Peterson, Diplomatic corps, College of Micronesia (COM-FSM), NGOs, staff of Pohnpei Economic Affairs, and the Embassy of Japan. The witnesses were also treated with a terrific demonstration of what the wood chippers could.
Ambassador Suzuki and The Honorable Governor Ehsa
3rd from the left: Mr. Ordonez, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, 4th from the left: Lt. Governor Peterson, Far Right: Professor Phillip, College of Micronesia