By Augustine Dominic
Partnership among agricultural organisations is vital for the effective delivery of agricultural research and extension services in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
This was highlighted in the highlands regional stakeholder consultation for a National Case Study, ‘PNG – Innovations in Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services’.
The meeting was organised by the African, Caribbean, Pacific-European Union Technical Centre for Agriculture & Rural Cooperation (AC-EU CTA) and PNG’s National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) at the Pacific Gardens Hotel in Goroka recently.
The objective was to facilitate an interactive dialogue between key stakeholders and to seek agreement towards a national consensus on the way forward for agricultural extension in the country.
The meeting was attended by representatives from NARI, Fresh Produce Development Agency, Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd, Provincial & National Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL), innovative farmers, and private service providers.
The participants agreed that all agricultural agencies are targeting the same farmers but through their different programs and therefore it would be important for all to forge strategic partnerships to share resources and work together to improve the lives of farmers.
A senior projects officer in the coffee industry, Cathy Pianga, and the National DAL Director for Highlands Region, Mauwe Gonapa, expressed that partnerships must not only focus on the provision of extension services but also on forging ties with private organisations that would market farmers produce derived from research and extension work.
The review is being facilitated by Ted Sitapai, a local expert in agricultural extension who was engaged by CTA. The meeting was part of a series of regional consultations throughout the country which started early this month.