06/29/2022 The EU-funded joint program STREIT PNG distributes tools and materials to further improve rural communities to improve their rehabilitation practices in cocoa and vanilla blocks.
Wewak, Papua New Guinea – In order to enable farmers to put into practice the skills acquired during capacity building trainings, the EU-funded STREIT PNG joint program has started distributing tools and materials that will enable rural communities to improve their farming practices. aging in cocoa and vanilla blocks.
This intervention, which began in May, has so far distributed 900,000 polythene bags, 90 shade cloths , 180 telescopic pruners, 90 measuring tapes and 90 boxes of grass tape. These inputs will help farmers rehabilitate their blocks to improve production of high quality cocoa beans for increased income to support their livelihoods and families.
These groups have all already received tailor-made training on cocoa bud grafting and block management organized by the Program in collaboration with the PNG Cocoa Board and officers from the Department of Agriculture and Livestock in the districts. and LLGs. The skills acquired during these trainings help farmers improve their cultivation, farm management and harvesting practices.
The 90 registered cocoa groups of more than 45,000 farmers have started the propagation of cocoa moth tolerant (CPB) plants in their respective nurseries. The program will continue to support them, with each group seeing themselves buy and distribute their seedlings free of charge to their respective members or farmers, including young people and women.
“I would like to thank STREIT PNG and the financiers of this European Union programme. The trainings we attended, we will now put them into practice using these tools and materials,” said Ms. Maureen Mombi, who together with her husband Ben organizes and supports three 1,500-member farmer groups on the island. Mushu, Hambraure village (Wewak district) and Hambini. Village (Ambunti-Drekikier District).
For the vanilla value chain, the program distributed 120 sets of vanilla cultivation, rearing and processing tools, including shovels/spades, rubber boots, pruning baskets, knife pot, cooler, colander, thick clot, digital thermometer, kraft/wax paper, plastic cloth and cardboard box to farmers in 11 villages in Wewak district and 4 villages in Aitape district /Light. 6 vanilla vine treatment sheds with a capacity of 10,000 feet have been set up. The vanilla kits and sheds in total so far support more than 4,000 men, women and youth in rural Sepik.
“Transferring knowledge and skills to farmers and their families is an important extension activity that needs to be supported with tools and materials. Under the program, we also distribute these items with new technologies to improve their practice,” explained program coordinator Dr. Xuebing Sun. “Tools and materials are a vital link in the adoption of technologies for sustainable agricultural systems that is encouraged under the program,” added Dr Sun.
Beneficiaries included more than 1,000 farmers from four remote communities in the interior of Turubu in Wewak District, East Sepik Province. On behalf of the young people and women in the village who will also benefit from this intervention, Brigitte Kamiresa, a mother from the village of Mundangai, said: “I would like to thank the European Union. We mothers didn’t go to big schools, so our youth or children will help train us to use these tools and materials to improve our practices.
The national technical officers of the cocoa and vanilla value chain also explained on local radios the distribution of tools and materials for producer groups/clusters that have already been formalized and are supported under the program development of rural agriculture. “If you have transport, please report to the Wharf Road office. For those in hard-to-reach areas, we will come to you,” said Mr. Michael Lames, National Cocoa Value Chain Manager.
The distribution of quality inputs by the program will continue to cover other groups of farmers in the program implementation sites in the eastern provinces of Sepik and Sandaun. EU-STREIT PNG, as a joint UN program (FAO as lead agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as partners), is the most large program funded by European Union grants in the country and the Pacific region. Implemented in close collaboration with national and provincial government institutions, research entities, civil society organizations and private sector companies, the program aims to help improve the lives of people in the eastern provinces of Sepik and Sandaun, focusing on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through improved economic returns and opportunities in the cocoa, vanilla and fisheries value chains while strengthening and improving the effectiveness of value chain enablers, including the business environment, and supporting the development of sustainable and climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure.
International Reporting and Communications Manager, EU-STREIT PNG Program led by FAO,