FAO in Papua New Guinea

FAO in Papua New Guinea

The 45-year partnership between Papua New Guinea and FAO was strengthened with the opening of a country office in 2013. FAO assistance has aimed at achieving food security through strategic policy advice, sustainable management of food systems and natural resources, adaptation to climate change and strengthened preparedness for disasters. Recent interventions include the formulation of the largest EU funded agriculture value chain strengthening program in the Pacific.

Support to rural development: STREIT PNG

Support to Rural Entrepreneurship, Investment and Trade in Papua New Guinea (STREIT PNG) is the largest EU-funded program in the pacific, and globally, for FAO. STREIT PNG is focused on the value-chain development  of Cocoa, Vanilla and Fisheries in the Sepik Provinces with eventual expansion to the rest of the provinces in Momase region with a specific focus on women, youth and climate change.

As the lead agency, FAO will support relevant government agencies and stakeholders for the implementation of this program. The program will also be a United Nations Joint Programme, implemented in partnership with UN partners such as ILO, UNDP, UNCDF and ITU, with FAO as lead.  

Ensuring food security through policy support 

FAO has continued to provide policy support to the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) with significant contribution towards the formulation of the Agriculture Medium Term Development Plan 2020-2023, intended to align the sector with the Medium-Term Development Plan III.

FAO has supported policy development for sub-sector/commodity agencies such as the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC), through assistance to the development of a 5-year Business Plan 2020-2025, and review of the Organizational Structure which aims to deliver on Key thematic areas under the Plan.

Promotion of digital agriculture and innovation

Under the PNG E-Agriculture Strategy 2017-2023 developed through the support of FAO, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL), the National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NICTA), International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Department of Communications and Information Technology, and Energy (DCITE), a series of E-Agriculture related initiatives were piloted in the province of Jiwaka to strengthen local capacities to develop and implement digital agriculture services and solutions. 

Some of these activities included:

  • Piloting of the livestock traceability system using the blockchain technology
  • Training on Agromet, a tool for weather forecasts and alerts; and
  • Training on AgriTech to promote the digital literacy of women and youth in the communities.

Improving agriculture statistical capacity

The need for agricultural statistics to improve policy and planning remains an important issue in the sector. FAO has worked in collaboration with DAL and the National Statistics office (NSO), to develop and incorporate country specific modules on food insecurity and agriculture and livestock production into the PNG 2016-2018 Demographic Health Survey.

There is some reliable baseline from the analysis of the DHS , which will enable policy makers to develop more targeted interventions, in terms of food insecurity and agricultural production. The information will also help relevant government agencies to monitor and evaluate the impact of agriculture projects and improve reporting against relevant Sustainable Development Goals.

Developing effective systems for sustainable forest management.

FAO, with support from the European Union and UN-REDD, has been providing technical assistance to PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) and Climate Change Development Authority (CCDA) on the establishment of a National Forest Monitoring System. FAO has also been successful in conducting a national inventory of PNG's forests, which also entails a collection of the biodiversity, and evaluation of plant and animal species and soil types.

FAO is also supporting CCDA and relevant technical agencies in the Agriculture, Forest and Other Land use (AFOLU) sector to strengthen their capacities to meet PNG's reporting requirements under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Information obtained from these activities have enabled PNG to become the eight (8) country globally to have submitted it's Biennial Update Report (with Technical Annex) to UNFCCC in 2019. FAO has also supported PNG FA to initiate discussions on the potential establishment of a national Timber Legality Verification System.

Improving food security and safety through "One Health" concept

In partnership with DAL and the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA), FAO is advocating and bringing awareness to the global issue of health threats associated with interactions between humans, animals and the environment, through the concept of " One Health". The One Health initiative aims to strengthen policy frameworks and alignment through a cross-sectoral approach between human health, animal health and environmental sectors.

PNG's One Health thematic area focuses on 'ensuring better outcome for food safety, nutrition and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by addressing prudent usage of pesticides and veterinary medicine in livestock, apiculture, aquaculture and horticulture. A Memorandum of Understanding on One Health was signed and the AMR National Action Plan has been launched.

Emerging biosecurity threats such as African swine fever (ASF) and Fall Armyworm (FAW) threatens the people's food security, livelihoods and can potentially lead to a socio-economic upheaval. FAO, in partnership with NAQIA and DAL, will be providing support in strengthening the surveillance and monitoring system for ASF and FAW. A one Health cross-sectoral approach from relevant partners and stakeholders is required to address these emerging biosecurity threats. 

 Supporting sustainable fisheries

FAO continues to support the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) to strengthen their legislative and governance framework to address Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, and facilitate PNG's accession to international agreements such as the Port States Measures Agreement. FAO will also be closely collaborating with NFA and relevant provincial and local stakeholders on the implementation of the fisheries component of the STREIT.

Supporting emergencies

Following the Highlands Earthquake in 2018, FAO has been partnering with the Women in Agriculture Development Foundation and the United Church of Hela Region in the Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces to implement agricultural livelihoods recovery activities aimed at over 30 000 disaster impacted farming families. FAO is also supporting DAL to lead in coordinating the emergency food distributions and agriculture recovery efforts with sectoral partners under the Food Security Cluster. 

Country gender assessment 

Gender equality in rural development remains at the forefront of the work of FAO in Papua New Guinea. The recent Country Gender Assessment of Agriculture and the Rural Sector in Papua New Guinea provides recommendations to inform country-level planning and programming for the promotion of gender equality and women's empowerment as well as policy recommendations for women to benefit more equally from agri-food value chain interventions.  

Support to improve agricultural statistical capacity 

Project activities have been initiated under the global strategy project and country TCP project to improve agricultural and rural statistics. A country assessment has been conducted, and a long-term strategy will be developed to strengthen agricultural statistical capacity. Pilot activities are also being planned to improve the analysis and management of agricultural REDD+ data.