Markham mums learn to look after family money


Mothers of Markham Valley, in Morobe, who are intercropping on a tree plantation have received money management training.
The media officer of PNG Biomass, Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom, said the mothers needed financial training to be able to manage food, groceries, clothing and school fees for their families.
“Women are the ones taking up business opportunities they see around them and they need to be skilled to manage their money,” he said.
“We have seen a significant increase in cash incomes for women in our project area as they are taking up business opportunities growing cash crops in between the trees on our plantations. We call this practice intercropping and it allows communities to still access their land, even though they have leased it to PNG Biomass for plantation establishment, for the purpose of intercropping.
“Women selling their intercropping vegetables on the market make on average about K50-K100 a day, and on good days even K200,” he said.
PNG Biomass invited Bank South Pacific to conduct the financial literacy training programme.
“Many of the communities we work with in the Markham Valley are financially illiterate, in other words, they have little basic understanding of how best to manage money,” van Heukelom, said. “We recently had one family that made K18,000 out of one single rotation of watermelon harvested from intercropping. These communities and in particular women, are now increasing their incomes – and women are in control and no longer reliant on men.”

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