Goroka hosts 'Market for Village Farmers' workshop

The Market for Village Farmers (MVF) project has successfully completed a two-day workshop in Goroka last Thursday.

The workshop was attended by partners including Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI), CARE International and Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA).

FPDA General Manager Mark Worinu has welcomed CEFI and Care International for partnering with MVF to deliver the project.

He said he was thankful that CEFI and Care International have agreed to partner with MVF to deliver some key activities of the project.

“We never thought we would come this far working with reputable partners like this. It is indeed a privilege for MVF and FPDA.

"We will work in partnership and not parallel. We will learn from CEFI and Care International on financial literacy and human development training for our farmers,” he said.

He said FPDA is a government agency and therefore it is going to meet the expectations of the government in delivering this project successfully.

Mr Worinu told the participants that the project had four years to go and more would be expected from partners such as CEFI, Care International and others.

CEFI was initially contracted by MVF under component 2.2 of the project to provide financial literacy training for the farmers.

CEFI has then engaged Care International to develop Family Farm Team (FFT) training modules and will train 120 trainers on the know how in delivering the FFT and Financial Education to 25,000 farming households in the six target provinces.

The FFT aims to institutionalise GESI concepts in the 25,000 farming households targeted by the MVF project across the 6 provinces, to ensure they are cognizant of GESI elements, when working together as a farm team to achieve their short, medium to long term goals.

"This is an important venture that the MVF project will pursue to address the inherent cultural norms relating to gender and other social stigma in the PNG societies, as a way going forward," Robert Lutulele, MVF Project Manager said.

Gender does not refer to the biological differences between men and women, instead it is what society constructs, perceives and imparts to what a man, woman, boy or girl in relation to specific roles, status and expectations within households, communities and cultures.

Mr Worinu said the project covers six provinces of WHP, Jiwaka, Simbu, EHP, Morobe and ENB and it will not only cover farming processes and methods but also look at providing financial literacy and human development trainings to benefit farmers in the long term.

Mr Lutulele while welcoming CEFI and Care International on board said the main aim of MVF was to make markets accessible to farmers and to take away the time, actual financial losses and opportunity costs incurred by farmers when searching and taking their produce to the markets.

This project will deliver innovative and value adding investments aimed at consistently delivering quality fresh produce to specified markets along short and long value chains, through established lead partners or aggregators who are private business entities.

This means that downstream processing can also be supported directly or indirectly if the supported lead partners or aggregators are involved in this as one of their main business activity, he said.

Mr Worinu highlighted that MVF is a FPDA project that must be understood by all partners and stakeholders while executing their roles and responsibilities in the project.

The Market for Village Farmers – Maket Bilong Villis Fama (MVF) is a Government of PNG project financed by IFAD, executed by National Department of Agriculture & Livestock, and implemented by Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA).

The Project Development Objective is to achieve sustainable and increased returns to village farming households from marketed oriented production.  

Freddy Mou