In Papua New Guinea, more than four million people (84 % of the population) depend on subsistence and semisubsistence agriculture. Agriculture accounts for 26 per cent of GDP.
Photo: M. Linibi

11.03.2014

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The Government extension services in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are weak. There is a general lack of money and staff, and the country has a poor infrastructure. Above all small-scale farmers in remote areas are left out of developments. This applies in particular to women farmers, despite their providing 85 per cent of the rural workforce.

The Government extension services in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are weak. There is a general lack of money and staff, and the country has a poor infrastructure. Above all small-scale farmers in remote areas are left out of developments. This applies in particular to women farmers, despite their providing 85 per cent of the rural workforce.

At the beginning of the new millennium, an extension concept was designed to test a novel approach, the contracting out of support services to service providers. This concept was applied in the “Smallholder Support Services Pilot Project”.
As a farmer myself, I was enthusiastic and admired the concept, the aim of which is to increase production, productivity and income of smallholder households while ensuring sustainability of farming systems. I decided to take the concept to women farmers, who are responsible for a major share of the country’s food production. It seemed a good way to enhance the status of women in the country’s agriculture.

The concept is based on the following ideas:

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