Bank helps farmers

MORE than 20,000 smallholder farmers in Papua New Guinea have benefitted through 21 active partnerships and projects, organised by the PNG Government in collaboration with the World Bank.

PNG is renowned for producing some of the world’s best coffee and the project has improved farmers’ incomes and livelihoods since a vast number of the population live in rural areas.

The Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project is lending a helping hand by addressing some of the challenges faced by those farmers.

The project aims to help farmers double exports, especially to the higher value segments of the market.

According to World Bank vice-president Axel van Trotsenburg, 600,000 coffee and cocoa farmers and 40 per cent of the women were expected to benefit from the new project in the next five years.

“The PNG Government has worked toward this end by increasing spending in areas such as health, education, infrastructure, law and order and rural development,” he said.

“PNG has a unique opportunity to ensure investments in these areas will lay the foundation for growth in the non-oil and non-mining economy as it manages revenues from liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports which are starting on a large scale this year.”

Mr van Trotsenburg said it was important to ensure accountability and transparency in the use of resources.