Hambini Village's Path to Transformation

On the summit of a hill, where access roads often succumbed to heavy rains, Hambini Village stands as a symbol of resilience and community spirit.

Home to more than 9,000 rural people, spread across 1,500 cocoa farming households, this remote community faced formidable challenges.

Their cocoa farms were less productive, incomes were meagre, and their educational and health facilities were in disrepair.

Yet, amidst these challenges, the villagers of Hambini dared to dream of a brighter future for their children and access to essential healthcare.

Their journey to transformation was made possible by the unwavering support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the EU-STREIT PNG Programme.

The transformation of Hambini Village began with a ray of hope from FAO.

Under the EU-STREIT PNG Programme, the community received critical support that kickstarted their resurgence.

Comprehensive cocoa training programs helped to revitalise their cocoa farming techniques, and the establishment of two cocoa nurseries, the first with 11,000 Cocoa Pod Borer (CPB) tolerant seedlings and the second with 21,000 CPB-tolerant seedlings, by providing tools and material equipped them with the means to secure a prosperous future.

FAO also upskilled the community to rehabilitate their ageing cocoa gardens, enhancing their farming practices.

FAO not only provided cocoa nurseries but also imparted training on effective nursery management. This empowered the community to manage the nurseries more efficiently. Furthermore, FAO purchased the seedlings from the same nurseries managed by the community and distributed them among cocoa farming households.

These supports not only increased the community's income but also facilitated the development of an efficient cocoa farming system, ensuring long-term productivity. FAO is also actively promoting the community's engagement in downstream cocoa value chain activities, such as processing, marketing and establishing lucrative businesses with premium markets.

The innovative use of income generated from cocoa seedling sales was pivotal. The community deposited a share of the generated income into the Village Trust Fund, a testament to their commitment to change established years before.

With these financial contributions, Hambini Village turned their dreams into reality. They completed the construction of a permanent structure elementary classroom and a new aid post, bringing quality education and essential healthcare closer to their doorstep.

With this initiative, the community, based on its collective efforts, made significant strides in enhancing its educational and healthcare facilities.

A brighter learning environment for local youth and relief from the burden of travelling to distant towns for healthcare services became the fruits of their collective determination.

Before the establishment of the aid post, the villagers, including pregnant mothers of Hambini 1, 2 and 3 villages, walked for over five hours to the main highway and waited for public transport vehicles to seek medical treatment and other basic services in Maprik town.

Also, the students who had to attend old and dark classrooms with very poor ventilation can now enjoy a modern facility, providing better educational space, including lighting and ventilation conditions.  

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