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The socio-economic unit of the Coffee Industry Corporation is embarking on a four year project which aims to develop new knowledge of the factors that explain women’s low level of engagement in small-scale agricultural enterprises.

The ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research) funded project, titled “Identifying opportunities and constraints for rural women’s engagement in small-scale agricultural enterprises in PNG”, will focus on highlighting enabling factors and key pathways and improving the capacity of women to engage in successful enterprises in agribusiness through better access to networks and business development services. 

This was presented at a recent inception meeting for all partners held on January 27th in Aiyura, Eastern Highlands Province.

The research project will partner with five different organisations – PNG Oil Palm Research Association (PNG-OPRA), PNG Cocoa Coconut Institute, PNG University of Technology, CARE International and Curtin University.

Project Leader, Dr. Gina Koczberski, highlighted that PNG ranked 134 out of 148 countries on the Gender Inequality Index (GII), and is one of the countries that did not meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goal targets set for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Dr Kczberski added that women are central to family livelihoods and wellbeing in rural PNG.

Whilst research among smallholder households has demonstrated the important role of women in the production and sale of agricultural produce, few studies have focused on the opportunities or barriers to women engaging more strongly in the agricultural sector, especially as managers of small-scale agricultural enterprises.”

The project spans across three main export cash crop sectors of coffee, cocoa and oil palm and the domestic fresh food produce sector, with each project partner carrying out a specific research component of the project.

Research & Growers Services Division General Manager Dr Mark Kenny welcomed the project saying it was vital to have researches done into barriers affecting farmers at the ground level, and more importantly women as managers of income earned.

The project has commenced last month and field work is expected to be carried out in the course of the project in West New Britain, East New Britain, Bougainville, Eastern Highlands Province and Morobe Provinces.  

The research will be conducted among rural women/households and private and public sector organisations across the main export commodity crop industries and the fresh food produce sector in PNG.  

Women from a village in Eastern Highlands Province sun drying coffee.

APPROVED FOR RELEASE:

Dr.Mark Kenny
General Manager- Research & Growers Services Division
Coffee Industry Corporation 

As momentum builds up for the 2016 PNG Coffee Competition, cooperative groups from the coast and the Highlands are gearing up to participate at this significant event. 
The event is set to be staged in Lae, Morobe Province from the 15th to 19th August, 2016. 
Coffee Industry Corporation Interim Events Chairman Sam Menanga has confirmed that preparations are progressing well as coffee sample collections are currently being carried out. 
With just a week more to go before the first regional competition in Aiyura, Eastern Highlands Province, coffee inspectors have gone out to collect actual coffee samples from Southern Highlands, Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Simbu and Goroka will be done this week. “We are looking at more than 100 cooperative groups to participate at the first regional competition, said Menanga. He added that groups who cannot compete at the first regional competition can participate in the second regionals.
Through the Coffee Industry Corporation’s Freight Surety Program, it has facilitated the airfreighting of 31 parchment coffee bags from remote Simbai of Middle Ramu in the Madang province last Friday 10th June, 2016.
The 31 coffee bags belonged to two cooperative groups- Womuk Farmers Development Cooperative Society and Kakasa Farmers’ Cooperative Society. The groups have been trained and organized by Simbai-based Mobile Extension Officer David Elmai. 
Elmai said that the groups have undergone various coffee training and have proved that they were eligible to participate at the competition. He said that he hopes that the coffees vie in the top list for the national competition.
The first regional competition will commence from June 20th to July 1st whereas the second regional competition will run from July 18th to 29th. The regionals look at eliminating low scores coffees and passing only the top quality coffees for the national event.

Simbai farmers with Mobile Extension Officer David Elmai at Simbai station preparing to load their coffees last Friday- Photo courtesy of CIC Media Unit

Offloading coffee bags as they arrive in Goroka via MAF last Friday- Photo courtesy of CIC Media Unit


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