Celebrating the contribution of PNG agricultural researchers

Philmah Seta-Waken of NARI Laloki

To mark the International Women’s Day, March 8 2012, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) highlighted the important contribution of Papua New Guinea’s women agricultural researchers to empowering rural women to end hunger and poverty.

Women play a key role in agriculture, one of PNG’s most significant industries, supporting up to 85% of the population. PNG has many talented women agricultural researchers who are delivering improvements in agricultural production and marketing. Many work for the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), and other industry bodies, and are partners in ACIAR projects.

In Port Moresby yesterday, Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, met with a group of PNG’s leading female agricultural researchers.

“Had the opportunity to meet some outstanding women in the PNG agricultural sector at an International Women’s Day photo exhibition supported by ACIAR today” Mr Marles tweeted.

A photo collection of women agricultural researchers, including many of the women Mr Marles met, can be viewed on youtube: http://youtu.be/8M5wqRBwByA and on Flickr: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyvJoaQ (high resolution can be supplied).

Mr Marles met with:

  • Maria Linibi, founder, PNG Women in Agriculture
  • Dr Norah Omot, Socio-economist, National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI)
  • Annastasia Kawi, scientist in integrated pest and disease management, NARI
  • Janet Pandi, senior livestock scientist, NARI Lae
  • Gorethy Dipsen, landscape and biodiversity officer, New Britain Palm Oil, Ramu Agri Industries
  • Susan May Inu, Coffee Industry Corporation
  • Philmah Seta-Waken, agronomist, NARI Laloki
  • Poela Utama, Fresh Produce Development Agency
  • Birte Komolong, NARI Headquarters
  • Amanda Mararuai, NARI Kila Kila
  • Hilda Sim, Quality Manager at the NARI Kila Kila Soil and Plant Chemistry and Science Labs
  • Janet Lipai, Head Chemist of Soil and Plant section NARI Kila Kila Soil and Plant Chemistry and Science Labs
  • Angela Pora, NARI Kila Kila

Mr Marles media release: http://ministers.dfat.gov.au/marles/releases/2012/rm_mr_120308.html

The main strategy of ACIAR’s program in PNG is to secure improved food supply and rural incomes for smallholder farmers. This is being achieved by increasing productivity and profitability of farming systems, including by developing breeding strategies, integrated pest, disease, weed and nutrient strategies, and through evaluating wider industrial opportunities for products. The ACIAR program is also examining the role and effectiveness of women’s groups in rural industries, in terms of efficiency and equity in agricultural and marketing systems.

More information:

Emily Flowers, ACIAR PNG Country Manager: 0011 675 71286629, emily.flowers@aciar.gov.au
Mandy Gyles, ACIAR Public Affairs Officer: (0408) 332 374, mandy.gyles@aciar.gov.au

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