Partnership releases land access guide to assist landowners


ACCESSING land for development in Papua New Guinea is always contestable and, sometimes, very difficult.
Grow PNG, with the support of Social Environmental Research and Consultancy Services Ltd (Seracs) has developed a Land Access Guide through a wide consultation process with Government, landowners and agribusinesses last year.
The guide will help landowners and agribusinesses work together to access land for agriculture development in the Markham Valley.
This land access guide is the first in the country, that was converted into a training programme to encourage landowners to open their land for agriculture development.
Grow PNG is an Australian government-funded initiative under the PNG-Aus partnership and is part of the Grow Asia network, an initiative of the World Economic Forum based in Singapore with partnerships in five other association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries: Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Grow PNG took the land access guide and with the support of Seracs and developed a training programme and conducted the first lot of pilot trainings from Aug 23-27 in Markham Valley at Mutzing station.
Eighteen integrated land groups (ILGs) in the Umi-Atzera local level government in Markham completed the training programme.
The training is the first, in a series that will be conducted in Markham, and which may include parts of Huon in Morobe.
Lae-based Australian consul-general Mark Foxe encouraged collaboration between Grow PNG and other Australian government economic programmes under the PNG-Aus Partnership to support agriculture development in the Markham Valley.
The programme was complimented later at the closing ceremony by John Simango, executive director of Grow PNG, on the on-going roll out of the training and other associated support.
Participants and dignitaries highly commended the training programme.
Tom Francis, ward councillor and spokesman representing the participants, said: This training has given us confidence and we are happy because Grow PNG has come to us and made it easy for us to understand.
ILG executives were able to identify their lack of understanding of the regulatory and legislative systems.