FAO in Papua New Guinea

FAO-led EU-STREIT Programme addresses gender equality and gender-based violence, in support of the wellbeing of farming households in Sandaun Province

09/08/2021

EU-STREIT Programme in Papua New Guinea provides learning opportunities for rural families in Sandaun Province on gender-based violence and women and youth inclusion within agri-business activities, educating the members, including the men, to recognise, respect and value the women’s participation in agricultural activities.

Wewak, ESP – To promote further inclusive participation of rural women and youths in agri-food value chains in Papua New Guinea as a critical factor in collaboration to materialise the full potential for food security and eradication of poverty in rural communities, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under EU-STREIT PNG Programme presses on with its commitment to extend learning opportunities on mainstreaming gender perspective to farming communities and local stakeholders in the Sandaun Province.

Held in late July in the border province, the newest rounds of trainings under the theme Mainstreaming Gender Perspectives in Agrifood Chains offered by the Programme covered two major rural communities of Pasi DPI Station in the Vanimo Urban LLG and Waromo Village in the Bewani Wutung Onei LLG.

The trainings addressed the impact of gender-based violence along food value chains, financial literacy, the steps and processes in setting up cohesive women’s and youth’s business group as well as group dynamics.

In total, 84 farmers and Provincial DAL officers, including 24 women, benefitted from these learning and awareness-raising opportunities.

One of the participants was a young wife named Mrs Scolyn Wasa, who was brought up learning and practising women’s traditional customary roles. “I’m happy to attend the workshop with my husband. I learned many new things like reproductive and productive roles that can be shared between men, women, youth and other members of the family,” said Mrs Wasa.

“I now know my husband can help me in household daily works as we now understand the importance of sharing roles, and so there will be no argument in our home,” she added. 

For any improvement to take place in terms of the wellbeing of farming families, which is one of the main agenda of the EU-STREIT Programme, male farmers must learn and practice to recognise, respect and value the women and youth participation for all to benefit equally.

“In a house, there must be transparency, trust and mutual understanding between father, mother and other members to work in harmony in order to live a fruitful, prosperous life,” said farmer Nicholas Tundu who attended the training. “As a village man, I’m happy I learnt new things that can help my family and I to earn money together, save it and not squander it.” The financial literacy introduction complemented the gender training package with satisfactory feedback from the trainees.

The training was beneficial to DAL officers as well, like Ms Loretta Imba, the Officer in Charge for Bewani Wutung Onei LLG.  “The concept of this training is good as it creates an awareness on gender-based violence. I will also impart this knowledge to farmers when doing my extension work and talking to the rural farmers on the importance of working together as a family,” said Ms Imba.

Appreciating the support provided by the Programme, Mr Allan Mark, the Vanimo Green District Manager, said: “It’s a privilege to have the EU-STREIT Programme here to promote agriculture in Sandaun Province. There are more challenges ahead and one of them is to equip our farmers to understand the negative impact of gender-based violence in the productivity of agri-value chain and how everybody can collectively take part under this programme.”

Mr Steven Nikengu, the Bewani Wutung Onei LLG’s Chair of Commerce and Agriculture, also in his remarks mentioned: “We have problems with funding to help our farmers, so I’m happy for this intervention by the EU-STREIT PNG to support us. We will work together to help our rural people.”

Following the FAO Strategic Framework on leaving no one behind, this FAO-led EU-funded Programme particularly focused on including marginalised groups like widows, single parents, orphans and people living with disabilities (PLWD) in its training and capacity building workshops. The Programme will roll out similar trainings to other LLGs of the Sepik Region in the coming months.

The EU-STREIT PNG, being implemented as a United Nations joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as implementing partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the country and the Pacific region, which focuses on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through Increasing the economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains and strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers including the business environment and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development. 

Media Contact: 
Amir Khaleghiyan, 
International Reporting and Communication Specialist, the FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG Programme, 
[email protected]