22 Dec 2005

Papua New Guinean butterfly farmers training in business

9:35 am on 22 December 2005

Papua New Guinean butterfly farmers are being given training for better business negotiations through a British-funded project under way until 2008.

PNG is home to the colourful Queen Alexandra Birdwing, which is the largest butterfly in the world and also one of the rarest.

The Cambridge University graduate researcher Rob Small says the project aims to develop management expertise.

"If you're in a remote area where you don't have goods and services, and it's very difficult for you to get a good coffee price or vanilla price, and then someone does come on your doorstep and offers you a few kina for a butterfly, chances are that you'll take it if there isn't another option, but if you can try and build the capacity of organisations that are there to supply fairly, then hopefully that problem can be solved."

Mr Small says the project aims to build the strength of middlemen organisations to negotiate butterfly sales, and arrange better contact between these organisations and the PNG government.