Potato farmers keen to improve supply


POTATO farmers in the Lagaip-Porgera district of Enga are working to improve supply and value chains for their produce to reach the market.
This was revealed by Lagaip Poverty Relievers’ Association (LPRA) project coordinator, Janet Yando, during a workshop facilitated by Australia Awards in Mt Hagen last week.
Yando said potato was the only cash crop for the people of Laiagam, but, its potential was not fully realised due to several constraints.
She said one important constraint was lack of an efficient supply and value chain system.
Yando said Australia Awards had realised the needs of these people and accepted her application to undertake a certificate in agribusiness in Australia next year.
She said that after her return, she would develop a supply chain for potatoes to be sold to markets in Lae, Port Moresby and other major centres. Yando said LPRA was not only growing potatoes but a range of vegetables including bulb onion, strawberries, garlic, carrots and cabbages which would be supplied to markets outside Enga.
She said bulk of people living in the villages depended on agricultural activities to sustain their living.
Yando said that they grow these crops without use of fertilisers and other chemicals because of good climate and fertile soil.
She said livelihood of the rural people would change completely when they ventured into commercial farming and secured big markets.

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