Thursday, February 18, 2010

K3.7 million from New Zealand to support smallholder farmers

The New Zealand Government will provide K3.7 million over the next two and a half years to the Smallholder Support Services Expansion Project (SSSEP) in Papua New Guinea.


This joint project between New Zealand and the Government of PNG aims to help improve the quality of life for smallholder farmers and their families by increasing their access to agriculture support services and technical assistance through the National Department of Agriculture and Livestock.


“More than 80% of PNG’s population lives in rural areas and they largely rely on agriculture for their livelihoods,” New Zealand’s High Commissioner to PNG Niels Holm said today.


“Many small farmers have limited access to technical knowledge to improve their agricultural practices and engage in markets.


“The assistance that the SSSEP provides is aimed at addressing this issue and contributing to increased household income and standards of living.” 


“The SSSEP builds on a pilot project in Eastern Highlands and Morobe provinces.


“The majority of the funding comes from the Government of Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand’s funding will help extend the programme to the Central and Simbu provinces, institutionalise the project’s processes and systems, and support involvement by women in the scheme.


“Strengthening and expanding the project will ensure that it continues in the years to come and reaches more people in PNG,” Mr Holm said.


New Zealand works to support sustainable development in PNG, and contributes to improving service delivery in health and education, and improving livelihood opportunities for rural people. 


In addition to supporting the SSSEP, the NZAID programme supports a number of other economic development initiatives which focus on the rural population.


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