PNG Food Security Boosted Through Empowering Women

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

News Release

Charles Darwin University Darwin, Australia

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A new capacity development project will assist the women of Papua New Guinea working in agriculture to develop their leadership skills and education to improve their community’s food security.

The collaborative project is supported through a $500,000 grant from AusAID through the Pacific Public Sector Linkages Program and will be coordinated by trainers from Charles Darwin University, alongside the National Agricultural Research Institute and the PNG Women in Agriculture for Development Foundation.

CDU horticulture lecturer Tania Paul said that more than 85 percent of food in PNG was grown by women, who played a key role in improving food security for their families and communities.

"PNG has many talented women in the agricultural public sector who are delivering improvements in agriculture, but often lack resources and opportunities to develop skills in leadership and decision making," Ms. Paul said.

"The aim of the project is to run workshops to provide professional and personal development opportunities for women in leadership and decision making roles in the agricultural sector."

Ms. Paul said the workshops would assist women to adapt their new skills in the workplace and enable women in the agricultural public sector to better communicate and disseminate research developments and new technologies.

"One of the initial steps to improving incomes and uptake of agricultural innovation is to empower women farmers to represent themselves, their needs and interests," she said.

"Lifting the leadership capacity of women in key roles will help improve food security on a wide scale and in the long-term, influence policy and funding decisions for the benefit of women."

PNG Women in Agriculture for Development Foundation is a national NGO supported through National Agricultural Research Institute in Papua New Guinea. In Australia, the foundation has been supported by the Crawford Fund and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

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