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EU gives K310 million for rural support

European-unionNEWS DESK
| Global Coffee Report

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.

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Philip Kai Morre

EU is trying to help us to improve our agriculture farming and livestock. which is good.

What the EU and other donors fail to understand is they don't analysis and plan with the community what they need and not what they want.

They are paternalistic and regard us as semi educated and not knowing much. They impose their own ideas and methods hoping they will work, but so often they don't.

Philip Fitzpatrick

The word misogynist has been bandied about for years now Arthur. It has achieved the status of a pejorative when delivered forcefully.

However, I notice that the word misandrist is now achieving some currency in restricted circles. It hasn't quite yet achieved the spear point that misogynist has but I'm sure the paleo-conservatives will fix that soon.

Regarding discarded equipment I remember that when I first went to Olsobip there were two high covenant houses there. One was on a ridge overlooking the airstrip and the other was neatly packed in a shed nearby.

This second house might still be there. I'm not sure how long it was in storage but the pilfering of useful bits began pretty early in the piece. The roofing iron was the first to go. I suppose there was 7/8 of a house when I got there.

Given that the biggest aircraft you could get into Olsobip was a Caribou or a Skyvan it must have cost a fortune to transport it there.

Arthur Williams

The FAO is part of the UN that has a US$1 billion budget and the EU is one of its member organisations.

Here in the UK the European Union has been a hot potato in politics for most of the last 40 years.

The problem is to finally be solved by January 31st 2020 when the new Tory government says we shall leave the putative replacement of 28 nations by a single 500 million citizenry political Super State in this post-modern ethos.

The only two projects I ever saw in PNG were:

1 - At Balimo in 1980 in the Western Province where Dick Randolph showed me a piece of farming equipment the EU had supplied possibly for the Vocational Centre there. It had been covered by canvas next door to the District Office ever since the visit of an EU dignitary when it was hidden away from him as he toured the Gogodala capital.

2 - At Taskul Lavongai LLG HQ in 2007 where the decrepit community centre (which I think Dick helped build in late 60s) had a slowly diminishing pile of small sized quarry stones. They had been stockpiled there some years before for the construction of the long awaited water reticulation that had been talked about since before I became a Kiap in 1970.

I enquired where the rest of the materials were and was taken to a nearby locked shed. Through an arc-mesh window I could see coils of piping and what looked like bags of cement with smaller bits and pieces of the project.

Apparently the supervising officer had spent so much on hiring of a barge to deliver these items that there was no money left in the account to fund the construction.

Taskul being at the isolated sparsely populated south east end of the island no news item about it ever seems to be in any media. So I don’t know if the deteriorating equipment and gravel have ever been used for the EU project or indeed if Masta Dick's edifice has collapsed on top of the gravel.

Shortly afterwards, possibly in 2010, when a new Water & Toilet initiative for PNG was being launched by Brussels, or was it Strasbourg, I queried our local EU MEP who eventually replied with a copy of a letter from a bureaucrat that as far as the EU was concerned the Taskul Water Project was completed (….so shut up!)

I note as ever in today's news report that the current politically correctness which is highly promoted in nearly every kind of assistance literature throughout PNG and indeed the world:

‘….the project that aims to support sustainable agriculture with emphasis on assuring that rural women and youth benefit the most.’ *****

It is as if women and youths exist in an isolated bubble without any males to do the initial hard graft of tree felling for a subsistence garden or commercial cop planting.
Perhaps men really will become an endangered species this century. All I know is that my in-laws male and female all worked closely to produce the mostly vegan diet we existed upon in New Ireland.

However I was extremely delighted that someone in the EU wants agriculture in the RURAL areas of PNG. Wonder which FAO/EU committee sat and for how long to decide agriculture was not terribly suited to urbanised PNG?

The only pleasing thing of the report was there was no mention of ‘stakeholders’ a much overworked phrase in the late 20th seemingly even more so in the 21st century for government and commercial ventures publications.

Sorry for being a miserable Xmas old man but too often the grants seem to get lost in the administration and/or by wantoks of leading elites getting most of the hand-outs that lead to uneconomic and possibly unrealistically costed projects.

The environment gets damaged and eventually the community has to wait for the next big-man to find another money tree while the infrastructure that had been built lies idle and decaying.

I hope subsistence families will benefit from this latest EU largesse to a very resource rich PNG but an impoverished landowner poor.

****** I saw this perverse emphasis on females even in religious life when the Baptist World Assembly that I attended had special Women’s event and a Youth event but no special event for men.

Also here in my Cardiff North electorate we are annoyingly subjected to the AWS or All Women Shortlist policy conceived by a pseudo-Labour PM Tony Blair so that ‘Women only can be a Labour MP’ here and it is repeated in too many other constituencies. This topic I know is often raised in PNG because of male dominance in Waigani.

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