Farmers

Tinputz couple are leading cocoa farmers

“Imagine working hard for two weeks to earn only K60! That was the struggle,” James said.

The couple have 500 cocoa trees in Teop, Tinputz District, in Bougainville’s north. In the past, James looked after the cocoa farm, while Emelia spent her time tending to the garden and fishing.

Despite their efforts, they struggled to save money or plan for the future.

But things started to change in 2017 when Emelia went with a friend to a CARE International training under the Bougainville Cocoa Families Support Project (BECOMES).

MVF starts partnership verification for farmers in Simbu

The team was there to asses and verify farming communities for partnership in providing market accessibility to small farmers.

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.  

CPL partners with Northern farmers

CPL Group also runs the Stop n Shop chain of supermarkets in Port Moresby and one of the biggest buyers of local fresh produce for their shelves.

Upon a formal discussion and invitation by Oro Governor Gary Juffa on the possibility of Oro supplying its fresh produce, CPL Group General Manager Ajay Patel met with Oro farmers with the display of some local produce.

Mr Patel said he was impressed with the display of produce and made a commitment to buy from the locals. He said CPL Group would buy on a weekly basis provided quality and consistency were maintained.

COVID-19 pandemic affecting farmers

The farmers are also calling on the government to subsidize funding for established farmers to recover during the lockdown period.

Farmer in the Highlands region are calling on the Government to look into their plight and address the issue regarding the wastage of their produces.

Speaking on behalf of farmers, Win Moni a consistent Pathogen Tested (PT) Kaukau farmer from Mul district of Western Highlands said farmers were the hardest hit.

Burden to lessen for Goilala farmers

The district used to be the top coffee producer in the Southern Region up until the decline of government services in the area in recent years.

Coffee has grown wild in the district due to logistical challenges and loss of interest by farmers mainly due to high cost of transportation.

Coffee farmers from Tapini LLG expressed concerns on transporting coffee to the markets in Port Moresby.

A farmer pays K50 per bag to be transported to Port Moresby and K100 PMV fare for himself.

Farmers appreciate agency for training

Present at the occasion was NKW Fresh General Manager, David Stewart, and FPDA supply chain manager Noel Kuman.

Coming from different model farms in Wau, the farmers gathered at Biawen and presented gifts to members of the Fresh Produce Development Agency and invited guests. 

Six years ago, FPDA extension officers trained the farmers on how to grow their produce and where to sell them to make a living.

Though they were from the mining area, the farmers had to forgo their past experiences in alluvial mining and start implementing their newly-acquired farming skills.

Women farmers trained on crop production

37 women farmers from various local level government areas in Rigo district learnt basic skills on financial management, crop production skills and farm management that includes land management and commercial marketing.

Central Province Agriculture and Livestock Advisor, Kila Gege, said a total of 12 such trainings for famers have been planned and funded in partnership with Taiwanese government.

Farmers to transplant 200,000 coffee seedlings

The seedlings are from eight nursery set-ups by eight cluster groups representing respective villages namely Torowa, Gisi, Sabang, Kalebo, Bayang, Karawang, Balawang and Tofito.  

The 813 farmers from eight villages operate under Kasuka Coffee Cooperative in partnership with agri-business firm Wia Trade Enterprise Ltd, a lead partner of Coffee Industry Cooperation’s Productive Partnerships in Agricultural Project (CIC-PPAP).

The farmer group is being revived and strengthened under coffee rehabilitation partnership.

Cocoa farmers applaud training

They travelled from as far as West and East Sepik, Bougainville, Morobe, Madang, NCD and East New Britain provinces.

The participants hailed the training as an eye-opener, saying they learnt about the quality and profile flavour of chocolate, information that was vital for them to understand the end product from the cocoa beans they produce.

Training facilitators said although the demand for cocoa is yet to reach its peak, there is potential for PNG cocoa to be competitive in the world market.

Banking services arrive in rural areas

The groups include Voice for Change in Jiwaka, along with KGWan Eco-Habitat Inc. and Independent Reform and Restoration Movement (IRRM) in Chimbu.

They will all become banking agents with MiBank, and expect to open accounts for more than 400 farmers.

IRRM Manager Toppy Sundu said in the past they never had bank accounts and had to hide their money or spend it.

"If we did have a bank account it took all day to travel to town to deposit or withdraw money. It would cost us money for PMV and was not safe," he said.