Farmers taking home K2000 from vege sale

Business

Rural communities in Wau, Morobe, are earning K700 to K2000 fortnightly from farming fresh vegetables.
Many women and children have opened personal savings accounts and can swipe cards in shops when the SMS alert strikes their cell phones.
At least 264 contract farmers in seven model farms in Wandumi, Nemnem, Namba 6 Compound, Mamboo Creek, Maus Kuranga, Biawen II and Werewere, as well as more than 2000 outgrowers, have turned a new leaf since 2013.
Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) established the model farming concept that encourages locals to switch from traditional subsistence farming into commercial farming.
FPDA value chain and innovation manager, Noel Kuman, said that after investing K400,000 in training, mentoring, farm management and extension since 2013, the results were increasingly positive. Vegetable production volume has increased from 40 tonnes each month to 120 tonnes in 2018, fetching each family between K700-K2000 every fortnight.
The farmers cultivate English cabbage, green girl and green boy cabbage, lettuce, onions, pak choi, dwarf beans, beetroot, eggplant, tomatoes, capsicum, potatoes and many others.
NKW Fresh buys from farmers for Morobe Mining Joint Venture kitchen at Hidden Valley and shops in Lae, Vanimo, Kokopo, Kimbe, Lihir, Manus and Port Moresby.
This is after chilling the produce in containers at its Lae depot along Mula Street.
“So far, the farmers have supplied 1246 tonnes since 2013,” Kuman said. The aim is to develop small-medium entrepreneur fresh producers in Wau.
Joseph Michael at Maus Kuranga is the first ever SME model farmer.
The FPDA encourages 62 different varieties of vegetables.

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