STREIT PNG marks Youth Day in East Sepik

The European Union (EU) funded “Support to Rural Entrepreneurship, Investment and Trade” (STREIT PNG) programme engaged with 200 rural youth in East Sepik Province to mark International Youth Day on Wednesday 12 August, 2020.

The theme for this year’s celebration as promoted by the UN is “Youth Engagement for Global Action”.

The STREIT programme works in close collaboration with local partners including the provincial Department of Agriculture and Livestock and Cocoa Board in Wewak and will commemorate this important day together with 110 boys and 90 girls of Numbohu LLG Adventist Youth of Numbo LLG, Yangoru-Saussia District.

The youth were supplied with essential start-up materials such as cocoa polybags and shade cloth for the establishment of a cocoa nursery to be managed by themselves.

The also receive training and materials on how they can become engaged together with women to benefit from cocoa, vanilla and fisheries value chains.

The STREIT PNG programme observes Covid-19 protocols such as hand sanitation, wearing of facemasks and physical distancing. In this event, a Covid-19 awareness campaign was conducted as well.

In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 2, the UN and FAO work towards ensuring food security and nutritious diets for all. In line with this objective, Rabi G. Rasaily, STREIT Acting Deputy Coordinator in Wewak, highlighted how the selected value chains are important sources of both income and food for local communities, particularly in these challenging times.

“It is important for today’s youth to appreciate the opportunities, roles and entrepreneurship potential that exist within cocoa value chains. International Youth Day is a vehicle to give young people the voices, promote their actions and initiatives, as well as encourage their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement in agriculture value chains.”

The EU values youth participation in political, economic and social life including in agriculture. “Youth are the key to the future of PNG, and through our support to the STREIT project we are facilitating their active participation in agricultural activities in order to help them prepare to become future entrepreneurs, farmers and leaders so that their voices, actions and initiatives or engagement can be meaningfully recognised,” said Jernej Vidtic, the  EU Ambassador to PNG,

Regional Cocoa Board Coordinator for East and West Sepik, Daryll Worimo, also stressed the need for rural youth to work on their cocoa blocks to rehabilitate old and senile trees with Cocoa Pod Borer (CPB) tolerant clone seedlings.

“Over 80% of the country’s population is rural-based and takes part in agriculture. Ageing cocoa means reduced production and lower household earnings. We must encourage and support our youth to engage in agriculture and cultivate the land, one of our important and basic sources of income and food production” says Mr. Kevin Hawan, Executive Manager, Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Wewak.”

The STREIT PNG, is a European Union funded programme implemented by the United Nations in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea in 10 districts of East and West Sepik Provinces. It is the largest grant-funded programme of the European Union in the country and in the Pacific sub-region.

Press Release