Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eastern Highlands women farmers attract interest in city

By BUSISI SIWAKA of DAL Information Branch

A group of women from the Eastern Highlands province are happy that their recent trip to Port Moresby has been beneficial.
The 18 women, mostly farmers and agricultural officers, participated at the floriculture show held during the independence anniversary celebrations.
The women, members of the Eastern Highlands Women in Agriculture Association, brought with them a wide range of floriculture products and fresh produce for display such as cabbages, tomatoes and carrots.
The different types of cut flowers attracted a great deal of interest at the four-day show held at the Waigani Arts Theatre.
Association vice-president Jennifer Kena said the women paid for the trip themselves but the experience they gained was worthwhile and they were looking forward to next year’s show. However, the women felt that the venue should be moved to a more central location to enable more visitors to participate.
The EHP women took out the first prize for the best floral arrangements and second prize for provincial participation.
Kena said eight provincial DAL staff and 10 farmers undertook the trip to learn more about marketing of floriculture and fresh produce and to seek potential buyers.
They were keen to share their ideas and experiences with other farmers and agriculture staff. They described the trip as a big success.
The EHP provincial food crops officer, Daisy Kiniafa, said the women brought limited supplies but found out that there was a huge demand during the show.
She said the women were so overwhelmed that they found it hard to price their goods.
“We learnt that there was a demand for cut flowers in the city,” Kiniafa said.
“The little we brought for display was sold out and we got many requests for new orders which we are working on after we returned home.”
Kiniafa said Chinese embassy staff were among the customers who showed great interest and had requested for a weekly supply of cut flowers.
She said the women’s group was becoming more organised and promoting and encouraging more women to be actively involved in agriculture.
Besides floriculture and fresh produce, women are encouraged in livestock farming, apiculture, rice production and cash crops.     

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