Foundation develops income pathway for Milne Bay farmers


MORE than 300 farmers in the Ferguson Island, Milne Bay, have benefitted from a church initiative aimed at empowering rural people through agricultural development.
Adventist Care (Adcare) Foundation project manager Iso Wilson told The National that the foundation had developed several projects, the major one being vanilla and the other fresh produce marketing.
He said under the fresh produce marketing, they had started with yams due to its longer shelf life and that it could be stored for long period of time.
Wilson said since its establishment in 2019, this was the second shipment they made to Port Moresby.
“Last year we shipped about 11 tonnes to Port Moresby which was sold out in the city,” he said.
“This year we have shipped nine tonnes.
“Shipment was delayed due to attention given to the vanilla expo in Milne Bay last November.
“These yams are brought from Fergusson Island.
“We plan for other shipments to come later this year and it will be from other parts of Milne Bay.
“We plan to do another shipment from Normanby, they are major yam producers.
“We also plan to bring in other fresh produce in the near future.”
Wilson said this shipment would be available for two months and their sales point would be at the SDA Central Papua Conference office at Ela Beach.
“This programme is to help empower rural people in the villages,” he said.
“They have abundance of resources but are unable to bring to markets because of their remoteness.
“We are supported by the Department of National Planning and Monitoring under the synergy of the government-church partnership and through the freight subsidy.”
He said they identified needs of the local farmers and from the first shipment, they would be purchasing solar equipment and deliver it to the villages soon.
Wilson added that they had also donated bales of clothes to those villages and hoped to assist them in other areas as well.
The Adcare Foundation is owned by the Seventh-Day Adventist in Northern and Milne Bay.
“The foundation was established to support the rural populace and empower them economically,” he said.

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