Vegetable producers in the Mumeng area of Morobe province stand to benefit from a collaborative project between Zenag Chicken and the PNG Women in Agriculture (PNGWiA) which is aimed at assisting women with improved vegetable production and increased income.
The vegetable producers are members of PNGWiA within Zenag Farm and Mumeng district.
According to Zenag officials, the Wafi project of Morobe Mining Joint Venture and Andersons Foodland in Lae have acknowledged to support Women in Agriculture within Zenag Farm and Mumeng areas as possible buyers of their fresh produce.
Zenag and PNGWiA are presently working on a market survey and looking forward to moving towards starting the project, which is expected to improve productivity and quality and save time and cost from women travelling into Lae looking for markets.
Apart from sourcing markets, Zenag Chicken will supply free vegetable seeds to women farmers in the Zenag Chicken Farm/Mumeng district through the PNGWiA and deliver free chicken manure from its farm to all farmers at designated five point locations. PNGWiADF will organise seed imports and will provide training on vegetable production which includes nursery, field cultivation and post-harvest.
Last week, the project partners and farmers held their second meeting at the Zenag Chicken Farm and the interest by local farmers was overwhelming. Though intended for women, men folks from the area were also attracted to the meeting.
President of PNGWiA Maria Linibi encouraged farmers to take the opportunity seriously and be committed to supply consistently.
“Consistency in supplying minimum quantities of farm produce to established markets has been a problem in PNG,” Mrs Linibi told interested farmers.
“You must be prepared to supply on a continuous basis,” she said.
The meeting identified choko, watercress and lettuce as potential crops to start with as they grow very well in the area. PNGWiA will provide training for all women within Zenag Farm and Mumeng district who participate in the project.
Those that attended last week’s meeting included farmers from Palkius village, Zenag Farm, Zenag Village, Zenag Station and Patep Hambun village. Women group leaders were also elected during the meeting.
Zenag Chicken is one of PNG’s two main producers and suppliers of frozen chicken in the domestic market. Both are based in Lae.