World Bank puts millions into PNG coffee and cocoa industries
The World Bank claims tens of thousands of farmers in Papua New Guinea stand to benefit from an extra boost to the coffee and cocoa industries.
The World Bank says tens of thousands of coffee and cocoa farmers in Papua New Guinea stand to benefit from an extra boost to those industries.
The bank is putting an additional 30-million US dollars into its Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project, which began in 2010.
The total value of the project is just under 51-million.
The bank's operations officer for rural development, Allan Oliver, says both the coffee and cocoa industries are struggling and need a boost.
ALLAN OLIVER: These are particularly critical subsectors in the rural economy. It probably covers about half the rural populations of PNG, the coastal areas for cocoa and of course in the highlands of PNG - mostly coffee. So, this project came particularly at a time when both the two subsectors were facing major challenges in terms of maintaining their productive levels and also linking their farming communities into productive capacities that could be able to supply the various markets that are available. The project is an innovative one, is an exciting one, but it basically is about building partnerships in both the cocoa and coffee sectors where for instance, a lead partner would tie up a partnership with a farming community, whether in cocoa or coffee, and you know apply for the funds provided they have clearly stated the kinds of activities that are eligible for funding in terms of removing the particular constraints that they have identified along that supply chain.
AMELIA LANGFORD: So, if you were to sum up the benefits of this initiative, what would you say?
AO: Oh, I would think that this is probably one of the biggest investments that has gone into the [agriculture] sector in the country and it is really exciting time for farming communities. While this project is creating this rejuvenation at the same time we are seeing the government is now putting focus and interest into these two crops so recently they are coming to say 'what else can be done to assist the cocoa board and the coffee industry corporation in terms of building on the platform that has been created under PPAP?' So, we believe there is potential to put the two sub-sectors back on track and hopefully with good best management practices that are being developed could actually be applied by these farming communities so I think it's good - it is an exciting time for the farming communities and also for the two industries.
Allan Oliver says the partnership's aims this year include improving the standard of rural roads so farmers have better access to markets.
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