Project aiding agriculture
THE sheer potential of Papua New Guinea’s agriculture has been the driving force behind the World Bank’s productive partnerships in agriculture project (PPAP) in partnership with the Government and International Fund for Agricultural Development, according to the World Bank
From a statement by the bank, this project helped communities collaborate to improve farming practices and access to markets, while also providing infrastructure such as feeder roads.
The US$110 million (K369million) project has supported over 68,000 producers across the nation, including over 24,000 women.
“Plans are underway to expand the project to focus on crops such as copra and livestock,” the statement said.
“In Jiwaka, as part of this project, we met many talented coffee farmers – including Doris, who used to have to get her children to help her carry coffee drums three kilometres to the highway for sale.
“Now with a World Bank-supported feeder road, her children no longer need to help her and have more time for school as public transport can now come to pick them up each day.
“The Highlands has a long agricultural history, going back some 10,000 years.
“We were struck by the richness and quality of the produce and the ingenuity of farmers.
“There is huge potential in this area – from the Highlands down to the wide, fertile Markham Valley – which could become a true food bowl for the country and for exports overseas.”
It said agriculture accounts for about a third of PNG’s gross domestic product (GDP) and this share could grow with more support to small-holder farmers.