The PNG Women in Agriculture (PNGWiA) has extended its assistance to the neighbouring Solomon Islands to establish a voice for women farmers in the country. This voice will support rural women who are engaged in agricultural farming to have an established body that will assist the voiceless and neglected to have better access to new and improved information and technologies in order to improve their agricultural practices for increased food security and income.
PNGWiA President Maria Linibi was in Honiara late last month to hold talks with Solomon Islands women leaders and deliberate on the concept and share PNG’s experience. Much of the discussions were centred around the need for the establishment and its framework.
“PNGWiA will work very closely to help them establish themselves”, Mrs Linibi revealed upon returning to PNG.
She said although discussions are still going on, the outcome so far was satisfactory as she was met by a group of women leaders in Honiara who expressed great desire to find a way forward in finding answers to their common agricultural needs, especially through assistance from PNGWiA.
Her trip was made possible by a regional EU-ACP capacity development project involving PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, which was organised through the National Agricultural Research Institute. The workshop, titled ‘Assessment of Constraints, Opportunities and Potentials in Livestock in the three Western Pacific Countries’, was hosted in Honiara.
“My objective of going there was to strengthen women network in the two partner countries so that they can partake in opportunities that this project is offering to women folks,” said Mrs Linibi.
She said: “Solomons women farmers are keen in registering with PNG for a start and we can then work on to help them organise.”
“Our next action is to help them work on their Constitution and develop a plan on how to achieve it.”
Solomon Islands Women in Agriculture Interim Chairperson, Lily Wame, said their women folk have met and acknowledged PNGWIA for sharing its experiences.
“We have adopted the concept in principle to work towards establishing the NGO body in the agriculture sector for women,” said Ms Wame.
She said they met early this month and proposed a name for their NGO group, which would be known as the ’Solomon Islands Women in Agriculture’ or SIWiA.
“This is the name and we will be working towards the registration formalities.”
“In the mean time, we are seeking funds to pay for having this group registered to PNGWIA as a matter of priority. Some women will contribute and raise money. We target to get the registration done by end of July.”
The Solomons women farmers have also called on PNGWiA and its network to provide advice and necessary assistance towards their endeavour.
They expect to formalise their new NGO, SIWiA, later this year.