​Officers urged to put farmers first

All officers employed under the industry rehabilitation partnerships should put farmers first in their duties, says the Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (coffee component).

“If you focus on the pay you will lose focus on the job. You’re here to serve the farmers,” says Project Manager Potaisa Hombunaka to 42 officers currently attending a training at SIL Ukarumpa in the Aiyura Valley, Eastern Highlands Province.

The training, which started on 5 May, is attended by project coordinators, data entry clerks, extension officers and field assistants employed with four partnerships under call 3 and 4. The partnerships are CDA Goroka, Hatavile Coffee Ltd, Research & Conservation Foundation (Crater mountain farmers) and Obura-Wonenara Coffee Cooperative Society.

The objective is to ensure all project coordinators, extension officers, data entry clerks and field assistants understand what is required of them, and to operate as a team to successfully deliver the agreed coffee rehabilitation activities.

The officers are also expected to report accurately input activities, like distribution of tools and nursery seedlings, and monitor outputs in terms of production and quality and others associated with increase in farmers’ livelihood.

Bill Humphrey, Component 2 Coordinator for Eastern Zone, said: “This training is meant for field assistants helping extension officers. But team building is a constant process. Even with talented players, a team doesn’t start great.

“This is why we are bringing everyone to make sure they understood their responsibilities and where field officers come in to support the whole operation process.”

The Coffee Industry Corporation currently has two officers in each coffee growing area. The project is extending the reach with more extension and field officers from the respective local areas of operation.

The training is organised in groups of four. The second group of 49 participants from four other partnerships arrived last Wednesday afternoon at SIL Ukarumpa and begun their session on Thursday, 8 May, to Friday 9 May. These are officers from Outspan PNG, PNG Coffee Exports/AAAK Coffee Cooperative Partnership and PNG Coffee Exports/Agna Partnership.

A similar training had already been provided to 11 officers in East New Britain and 28 in Morobe. This training will continue to cover projects in Chimbu, Jiwaka, Western Highlands, Southern Highlands, Enga, Madang and East Sepik provinces.

The PPAP is a CIC project through the Department of Agriculture & Livestock, financed by a loan facility from World Bank (IDA) and International Fund for Agricultural Development, with counter-funding from PNG Government.

(Picture: Blendnew Coffee)

Press release