Partners join Market for Village Farmers Project

Two new partners in the Market for Village Farmers (MVF) Project have been encouraged to change the mindset of farming communities driven by farming activities.

CEFI’s Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe said this during MoU signings between CEFI and Gentrade Consultancy Services and Southern Consultancy (Enterprising) Services on 08, May 2024.

“You are very important partners in this endeavor and I want to reiterate that you have to maintain very high standards and deliver the quality service,” Ranasinghe said.

“Change the mindset of the people in your community and the change will come through opening of a bank account or submitting a loan proposal to a bank,” Ranasinghe told the owners of the two consultancy services providers.

Ranasinghe emphasized the MVF project as one of CEFI’s key initiatives and partners adding it was a unique agriculture project that aimed to get the banks involved in agriculture lending with the focus on value chain of the fresh produce sector.

The MoU agreement is for Village Farmers Livelihood Improvement Training under MVF project, funded by International Food Agency Development Authority, and implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock and Implemented through Fresh Produce Development Authority.

The MoU aims to improve the livelihoods of village farming households in target provinces and facilitate the transition from semi-subsistence agriculture to market oriented production and farming as a business.

The project’s target provinces are Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Simbu, Eastern Highlands, Morobe and East New Britain.

Gentrade Consultancy Services and Southern Consultancy (Enterprising) Services as part of their engagement will provide the following deliverables;

-Provide qualified male and female trainers (10 each)

-Ensure selected trainers fully participate in the Village Farmers Livelihood Improvement (VFLI) ToT Training and are certified

-Provide VFLI training

-Plan and coordinate movements of trainers and provide reports

MVF Project Manager, Joe Koima, who was present to witness the signing, thanked CEFI for the continued partnership  and added that training the farmers is key to developing the fresh produce sector.

“This partnership between the lead partners is important because the ratio between trainers to farmers is very low. This partnership with CEFI through the training partners will increase the ratio leading to more outreach in financial inclusion trainers,” Koima said.

Koima encouraged CEFI to increase its financial literacy programs in the near future to cover more centers in the country as this provides the leverage for development.

Wesley Lopele, Gentrade Consultancy Services and Tony Walega, Southern Enterprises Services, both thanked CEFI for the opportunity to be engaged as training partners in the MVF project.

“We (Southern Enterprises Services) are looking forward to working with CEFI and MVF and are eager to make our involvement a success,” Walega said.

“We have been waiting for this opportunity and thank CEFI for choosing us on merit as one of the training partners for this project,” added Lopele of Gentrade Consultancy Services.

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