The United Nations has announced the implementation of a five-year, €82 million (~US$91 million) initiative in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)-led development project aims to support and strengthen sustainable agricultural chains with emphasis on assuring that rural women and youth are to benefit the most.
The External Action for Support to Rural Entrepreneurship, Investment and Trade in Papua New Guinea (STREIT PNG), initiative is FAO's largest EU-funded single-country joint-project worldwide, and it is the EU’s largest financial contribution to projects in the Pacific region.
The FAO calls the STREIT project unique and innovative, focusing on women, youth, and climate change.
"The project will apply an ‘all-in-one package' approach to agri-value development and is expected to sustainably increase production of selected crops and fisheries. We thank the EU for selecting and entrusting FAO as the leading agency for the implementation of the project," FAO Director-General QU Dongyu says.
"I also thank Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, for her support to FAO."
Joshua Kalinoe, Papua New Guinea's Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union, thanks the EU and FAO on behalf of his Government.
"A majority of our population live in rural communities and are involved in small-scale farming for income generation," he says. "The project will no doubt provide opportunity for them to increase production and expand their income base."
The activities of the project will focus on increased economic return from cocoa, vanilla and fisheries value chains in four rural provinces of Papua New Guinea's Momase region. They will help to create and strengthen climate-resilient, more efficient, sustainable, and inclusive value chains with improvements to infrastructure and renewable energy.
The majority of the project is financed by the European Union, with FAO providing €300 000 (~US$334,440) in co-funding. The main beneficiaries are smallholders, farming families, the local private sector, and entrepreneurs.
FAO is the lead implementing and coordinating agency for the initiative. On the ground, it will work with and coordinate the work of other specialised interventions by sister UN Agencies. These include the International Labour Organisation, the International Telecommunication Union, the UN Capital Development Fund, and the United Nations Development Programme.
The project will be implemented in close cooperation with various Papua New Guinea Government Departments, including the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, as well as the Cocoa Board, National Fisheries Authorities, and provincial and local authorities.