The National- Wednesday, January 19, 2011
By VERONICA FRANCIS
TWO Women in Agriculture champions flew all the way from Australia to meet their counterparts in PNG to identify the needs of women in agriculture.
Cathy McGowan and Val Lang are both with the Australia Women in Agriculture (AWIA) and will be in the country
to conduct a two-week survey on “Building Women’s Business Acumen”.
McGowan is an international consultant while her colleague Lang is on the board of AWIA.
According to Lang, the underlying idea of the survey was to identify the issues PNG Women in Agriculture (PNGWIA) face, needs and expectations and come up with best solutions.
She said it was important for PNGWIA to understand that they were part of world communities and play an important role in their society.
“It is also a time to network with our counterparts here in PNG, get energy and inspiration from the work they do,” she said.
“It is a time to share ideas, experiences and the realities of both worlds.”
McGowan said she would like to see from the survey quality and factual data collected, the ability to discuss and analyse data and in the end come up with recommendations that would best suit PNGWIA.
She admitted that certain issues AWIA faced was similar to PNGWIA and they would try to come up with best possible answers to address these issues.
“I have realised that women in Australia and PNG do not take leadership roles in agriculture.
“It is very important for women to understand that agriculture is an integral part of society and they should step up to meet the demand,” she said.
The initial stage of the survey started yesterday and is conducted under
a partnership programme between PNGWIA, the National Agriculture Institute, AWIA, the University of Canberra and the Australian Centre for Agriculture Research.
McGowan and Lang will travel with their counterparts to Lae (Momase) and Goroka (Highlands) and return to Port Moresby before they head back to Australia next Friday.