By SOLDIER BURUKA of DAL
An agriculture smallholder extension concept successfully trialled in two provinces should be expanded throughout the country.
The Smallholder Support Services Pilot Project (SSSPP) proved successful during its trial phase in the Morobe and
The expansion phase has again been made possible by a K3 million grant provided by the
It will now be expanded to the Chimbu and
A Smallholder Support Services Expansion Project workshop held in Lae recently was told that the concept is a good one and should be expanded to other provinces.
This extension concept has been well received and has improved agriculture extension and agriculture productivity in the
Morobe provincial administration deputy administrator Geoving Bilong and his EHP counterpart Solomon Tato told the workshop that they were pleased with the concept which has had a positive impact in the people’s livelihood in the two provinces.
They said that with adequate funding and resources Morobe and EHP were prepared to take the lead in assisting other provinces to implement the extension concept.
They also urged that the concept be taken on board under the auspices of the National Agriculture Development Plan and similar programmes.
Bilong said that the concept can be adopted and incorporated into current extension systems as the way forward to enhance agriculture extension and delivery of agricultural services especially at the district and ward council level.
He thanked NZAID for having confidence in the PNG agriculture sector and placing emphasis on gender participation.
In Morobe more women are becoming involved in agriculture as service providers and all these have been made possible by the new extension concept.
“Many people who have gone through the SSSPP concept have improved their agricultural activities,” Bilong said.
“This is a good project that has the capacity to involve people at all levels of the community and can make a big impact in improving extension services in PNG.”
Tato said the extension concept had assisted in starting up new agricultural initiatives in areas where agriculture delivery services were not effective in the past.
He said the concept could be adopted into other agricultural programs for maximum impact in the rural communities.
It has led to positive impact in agriculture development in the province.
Chimbu agriculture advisor Damien Toki said his province had arranged for staff to be seconded to the SSSEP and organised its new office as well as appointing a Support Services Contract Facility steering committee.
The provincial executive council has approved funding and the project should commence operation in September.
“SSSEP concept is designed to sustain smallholder initiatives,” he said.
“As a province that is smallholder activity driven in all aspects of life, we saw this as the way out and are more than happy to participate in this programme.”
Central province’s deputy administrator Michael Uaiz stressed that awareness and advocacy was essential to progress the SSSEP and related programmes.
He said the people of Central deserved to be given a fair deal and the SSSEP provided opportunities for agriculture development to move forward.