Transitioning from semi-subsistence fresh produce farming to market oriented agriculture business is a challenge many farmers in Papua New Guinea face.
Coupled with limited financial services and products and poor money management skills, it can be overwhelming for farmers to grow and sustain their farming business.
This challenge will now be improved through strategic partnerships established between the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI), Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA), and Government of Papua New Guinea under the project, Market for Village Farmers (MVF).
CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe and FPDA General Manager Mark Worinu today signed a 5-year partnership agreement for CEFI to facilitate access of 25 000 farming households to financial training, services and products across Western Highlands Province, Jiwaka, Simbu and Eastern Highlands Province in the Highlands region and Morobe and East New Britain Provinces.
CEFI with its partner training providers and financial institutions will educate fresh produce farmers on money management skills, develop community-level savings and innovative lending schemes that will pave the way to support farmers to build a strong savings culture and grow their businesses into viable commercial businesses.
“CEFI has recruited full time staff and will open an office in Goroka this month to administer the financial inclusion activities that will undertake under MVF.”
“We will also work with financial institutions to develop suitable agriculture lending products for the sector as well as digitising payment for farmers.” Said Ranasinghe
General Manager Worinu stated MVF will adopt a family-based targeting approach to increase the capacities of participating farming households, and especially of women and youth, to take advantage of project benefits, through financial, business and nutrition education.
“The approach will also be used to engage the community to create a supportive environment for household level activities and to support broad inclusion and we’re positive of the impact of this project.” Worinu says.
Market for Village Farmers (MVF) is valued at $USD38 million (PGK127 million) and is executed by the Government of Papua New Guinea through the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) and implemented by FPDA, with funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
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