The PNG agriculture commercialisation and diversification (PACD) project has received US$40 million (around K140 million) in funding from the World Bank.
Jane Sprouster, senior operations officer for the World Bank PNG and Pacific Islands, said the project would benefit and assist 20,000 farmers. Sprouster added that she hopes it will allow them to reach commodity targets set by the 2021 to 2023 agriculture medium-term development plan.
“The World Bank’s global mission is to work for sustainable solutions to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity. With 80 per cent of Papua New Guineans depending on agriculture to sustain their livelihoods, agriculture has long been and remains a priority for our engagement in PNG,” Sprouster said.
This isn’t the first project in Papua New Guinea to receive support and funding. The largest PNG agriculture project so far has been the productive partnerships in agriculture project (PPAP), which Sprouster said had been a huge success.
“It was launched in 2010, and in just over ten years, it supported more than 67,000 smallholder cocoa and coffee producers in PNG, with more than three million cocoa trees, and more than seven million coffee trees replanted or rehabilitated,” she said.
This level of success will hopefully be replicated with PACD.
“Through this new project, we want to help build upon the successes of PPAP and expand beyond coffee and cocoa to other important value chains,” Sprouster explained.
The PACD project aims to increase the development of diversified and competitive agricultural products, such as cocoa, coffee, spices, coconuts, and small livestock.
The project will focus on 12 PNG provinces – the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Morobe, New Ireland, Madang, East and West New Britain, Chimbu, Jiwaka, Enga, and Southern, Eastern, and Western Highlands.
The PACD project aims to raise yields of cocoa, coffee, and other valuable crops by 25 per cent.
“When we talk about diversifying value chains, this means we aim to support at least 30 agribusiness partnerships that assist farmers from coffee and cocoa producing areas diversifying to new commodities, practices that complement production,” Sprouster said.
Image caption: Map of PNG Agriculture Commercialization and Diversification Project by World Bank