MELBOURNE - The European Union is funding a five-year K310 million rural initiative in partnership with the government of Papua New Guinea.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation will lead the project that aims to support sustainable agriculture with emphasis on assuring that rural women and youth benefit the most.
The initiative is FAO's largest EU-funded single-country project and is the EU’s largest financial contribution to projects in the Pacific region.
"The project will apply an approach that is expected to sustainably increase production of selected crops and fisheries," said FAO director-general Qu Dongyu. “We thank the EU for selecting and entrusting FAO as the leading agency for the implementation of the project.
Joshua Kalinoe, PNG’s ambassador to the European Union, said “a majority of our population live in rural communities and are involved in small-scale farming for income generation.
“This project will no doubt provide opportunity for them to increase production and expand their income base."
Project activities will focus on increased economic return from cocoa, vanilla and fisheries in four rural provinces of the Momase region.
They will help to create and strengthen climate-resilient, more efficient, sustainable, and inclusive value chains with improvements to infrastructure and renewable energy.
FAO will work with sister UN agencies including the International Labour Organisation, the International Telecommunication Union, the UN Capital Development Fund, and the United Nations Development Program.
The project will be implemented in cooperation with various PNG agencies including the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, the Cocoa Board, the National Fisheries Authorities and provincial and local authorities.