Papua New Guinea
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Program Lead Calls For Cooperation

The EU Funded UN Joint STREIT Programme Steering Committee emphasized on cooperation between stakeholders and partners in delivering support for the benefit of the people in East Sepik and Sanduan provinces.

The third programme steering committee meeting held in Vanimo early this month composed of one-third in-house meeting and one-third field visits to project sites.

The programme in PNG has progressed in delivering technical assistance to beneficiaries since 2020. With the challenges induced by COVID-19 Pandemic, there is a need for further cooperation and partnership among stakeholders in implementing the envisioned support to improve agri-enterprise activities and livelihood of rural communities in the Sepik provinces.

The Programme funded by the European Union is for the benefit of the Sepik people that represents the largest opportunity ever to initiate, make and deliver a change for the better in their daily lives.

It is part of EU-PNG’s long-lasting partnership in providing innovative solutions for sustainable development to the marginalised agri-rural communities.

Roger Kara, Deputy Secretary of the Department of National Planning and Monitoring said, “To build back better since COVID, new measures are needed and scale-up coordination mechanisms at national, provincial and local levels to accelerate tackling protracted challenges and find solutions for emerging issues.”

FAO EU-STRET PNG Programme Director, Dr Xuebing Sun said this has been the first ever physical meeting organized for the PSC since the inception of the program.

“The purpose of this meeting is to reveal an ethos and progress report of 2021 and reveal and ethos deadline and work plan budget for 2022.

“During the meeting, where open, transparent and constructive discussions were conducted. All the participants including the co-chairs PSC members, observers and the programme staff members realized the challenges encountered over the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Programme is a joint endeavor that also includes the National Government, provincial administrations, and local counterparts in the Greater Sepik region.

These are some of what the joint projects work plan has achieved following results for community benefits:

  • Distributed nearly 290,000 cocoa pod borer-tolerant seedlings from main and satellite nurseries.
  • Established more than 250 cocoa budwood gardens in strategic locations across different districts, LLGs and wards in the Sepik.
  • Trained nearly 13,000 lead farmers and extension officers (including 20 percent women and 25 percent youth) in the cocoa, vanilla and fisheries value chains.
  • Organised sensitisation and awareness campaigns on the important role of women and youth in the agri-food value chains and the need to mainstream gender and youth perspectives in these value chains. This benefited 9,241 women, youths, students, and men.
  • Supported the connection of 13,681 beneficiaries to mobile wallets and 16,398 rural people to bank accounts, and the creation of 80 new banking access points across the Greater Sepik region.
  • Developed E-Agriculture Strategies for two Sepiks and draft of the national "Quality of Service Framework" for NICTA on improved Mobile Broadband Connectivity.
  • Trained 90 agripreneurs, NGOs' members and lead farmers and government officers, on Digital Agriculture and Financial Inclusion.