Overview Objectives

ASEM/2014/095: Improving opportunities for economic development for women smallholders in rural Papua New Guinea

Women smallholders are key to PNG family livelihoods; they produce essential subsistence crops whilst undertaking valued social roles such as family care. However, women smallholders face significant agricultural constraints including limited access to productive resources, low banking rates, limited financial skills, lack of access to credit, poorly developed transport systems, lack of understanding and access to markets, unequal gendered family roles and division of labour, restrictions to mobility, and overall safety. They have educational disadvantages due to low school completion rates and limited access to training or extension services. Although most women aspire to improve their family livelihoods, ASEM/2010/052 demonstrated that very few women smallholders have the necessary agricultural and business acumen. The project will address this issue.
The aim of the project is to enhance the economic development of PNG women smallholders by building their agricultural and business acumen to improve agricultural productivity through: agricultural extension; improved banking, saving and skills in financial management for agricultural small business activities; increased capability to access micro-finance, and building gender inclusive decision making capacity within the family and community through the family teams training approach. The project expects to see social and capacity impacts on women smallholders and their families within the first year, and economic impacts over a longer time frame.

Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

This project is part of the Transformative Agriculture and Enterprise Development
Program (TADEP), co-funded by DFAT and ACIAR. TADEP is a program of five projects
that collectively aim to foster private sector-led development in agriculture, increase
agricultural productive capacity and improve access to markets for farmers in Papua New
Guinea and Bougainville, particularly women farmers. By working in innovative ways with
women’s groups and the private sector, both of which are lead aspects of the Program,
TADEP seeks to develop a new approach to translating the small-scale impacts of
agricultural and forestry research into larger scale development outcomes in PNG.
The project aims to improve the lives and economic security of women smallholder
farmers in Papua New Guinea. Women farmers are key to PNG family livelihoods. They
produce essential subsistence crops whilst undertaking valued social roles such as family
care. However, women farmers face significant agricultural constraints including low
literacy, limited access to productive resources, low banking rates, limited financial skills,
lack of understanding and access to markets, unequal gendered family roles and division
of labour, restrictions to mobility, and overall safety. Although most women aspire to
improve their family livelihoods, very few women farmers have the necessary agricultural
and business acumen.
A previous ACIAR project (ASEM/2010/052) demonstrated that a whole of family
approach to farmer learning has enabled farming families to work in a more equitable and
effective way to improve their livelihoods. The family teams approach integrates family
teams modules, banking and saving training and agricultural planning techniques as well
as the training of peer village community educators. This project now seeks to understand
the effectiveness of the approach at scale and across a broader range of commodities
and geographies.
With the support of the PNG country
With the support of the PNG country leader, the National Agricultural Research Institute,
the first year has focused on the PNG highlands:
Alona ward, Lumusa, Western Highlands (partner Baptist Union) - September 1st
2015 to December 15th 2016)
Asaro Valley, Eastern Highlands (partner Fresh Produce Development Agency)
February 1st 2016 to April 30th 2017)
Wahgi Valley, Jiwaka (partner Voice for Change February 1st 2016 to April 30th
2017)
Ethics permission was gained from the University of Canberra, Pacific Adventist University
and the PNG University of Technology. In each area, baseline participatory activities have
been completed (community asset mapping, crop production analysis, community learning
plan) as well as key informant/leaders interviews and a baseline survey.
Alona ward: workshops 50 F, 15 M; surveys 35 F, 35 M
Asaro Valley: workshops 34 F, 19 M; surveys 25 F, 25 M
Wahgi Valley: 21 F, 18 M; surveys 33 F, 33 M
Teams of Village Community Educators (VCEs) have been trained as peer educators.
Three models of VCE teams are being trialled: female only, females with male leader
support, female and male teams.
Alona ward: 44 women, 8 senior male community leaders
Asaro Valley: 34 women, I man
Wahgi Valley: 21 women, 18 men
The VCES have begun to deliver the Family Teams modules to other farmers in their
village.
Module 1: Working as a family team for family goals
Alona ward : 213 F, 39 M
Asaro Valley: 76 F, 71 M
Wahgi Valley: 107 F, 58 M
Module 2: Planning your family farm as a family team
Alona ward: 155F, 19 M
Asaro Valley: in progress
Wahgi Valley: in progress
Module 3: Communicating and decision-making as a family team
Alona ward: In progress
A new module has been developed in light of the PNG drought, Module 4: Feeding your
Family Team
Alona ward: 155F, 17M
Asaro Valley: in progress
Wahgi Valley: in progress
Women’s leadership teams have been formed and supported in all three areas. Each
women leader is responsible for supporting a team of 6 VCEs in the delivery of the peer
education. The leadership program uses strengths-based training that helps women
recognise their existing skills and the leadership roles they already have in the community
and identifies other possible leadership pathways. Women leaders have also been trained
in project planning and management skills, communication and monitoring and evaluation.
Alona ward: 7 women
Asaro Valley: 6 women, plus 1 FPDA staff member
Wahgi Valley: 7 women, plus 2 staff members
A range of brokered training to support the business and agricultural development of the
VCEs and their families is in progress.
Banking and saving (Nationwide Microbank): Alona ward, Asaro Valley, Wahgi
Valley
Bulb onion commercial production model farm (FPDA): Alona ward, Asaro Valley
Livestock production (PNG University of Technology): Wahgi Valley
Two in-depth research projects have begun with UniTech Masters students
-Elizabeth Owa Innovations adopted by women and their impact on their family
livelihoods in selected villages in the highlands of Papua New Guinea
-William Nano Performance and impact evaluation of peer education learning in
animal production for women in selected rural areas in the Highlands of Papua
New Guinea
Pacific Adventist University has trialled the first phase of two innovations:
a business literacy project for illiterate women farmers (Business School)
a professional development module for primary school teachers to enable them to
teach agricultural development content (Education School)

Project ID
ASEM/2014/095
Project Country
Inactive project countries
Commissioned Organisation
University of Canberra, Australia
Project Leader
Professor Barbara Pamphilon
Email
barbara.pamphilon@canberra.edu.au
Phone
02 6201 2323
Fax
02 6201 2263
Collaborating Institutions
National Agricultural Research Institute, Papua New Guinea
Baptist Union of PNG, Papua New Guinea
Pacific Adventist University, Papua New Guinea
University of Technology, Papua New Guinea
Fresh Produce Development Agency Ltd, Papua New Guinea
Bougainville Women’s Federation, Papua New Guinea
New Ireland Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Papua New Guinea
Project Budget
$3,000,003.00
Start Date
18/07/2015
Finish Date
18/06/2018
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Jayne Curnow