Nawaeb farm families receive business training
Farmers in Nawaeb, Morobe Province, are building sustainable family businesses with the help of Australian-funded training which encourages a greater decision-making role for women.
The business acumen training urges family units to work as teams, and to collaborate with other families to achieve their business goals.
It looks at how family incomes can increase when household tasks are shared, freeing up women for income-generating activities.
Thirty farmers attended the course, designed by a PNG and Australian team, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
They included coffee, cocoa and rice farmers, poultry producers and inland fish farmers.
Twelve community educators also participated, so they could pass on the information to other farming families.
The course offers advice on leadership, basic book keeping and time management, and encourages men to take a more sensitive approach to the amount of work that women do around the house in addition to their roles as farmers.
Rice farmer Wama Dama said he was determined to improve the way in which his family worked the land.
“I always planned big projects without involving my wife and children,” he said.
“I now appreciate the value of family teams. When I go back home, I will call a meeting with my family and community to discuss a way forward for my family and the community at large.”
Coffee farmer Norrish George said: “What I learnt today is that you men are farmers and I as a female am a farmer too. We are all equal.”
Australia’s Provincial and Local-level Governments Program (PLGP) delivered the training on behalf of the Australian Government.
The Australian High Commission’s ACIAR Country Manager, Ms Emily Flowers, said with teamwork, families could be happier and more productive.
“When women’s workloads are reduced, they have more time to spend on activities that provide a financial return for their families,” Ms Flowers said.
PLGP has also delivered the course in Mul Bayer Lumusa, in the Western Highlands. Future workshops will be held in Talasea (West New Britain), Sohe (Oro), and Nuku (Sandaun).