World Bank backing agriculture in Highlands


IMPROVING agricultural processes and supporting small holder growers is only part of the puzzle as buyers and private sector support are critical, the World Bank says.
The World Bank said in a statement that the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as the largest global development organisation working with private sector in developing countries, had been working with wholesaler and retailer, Tininga, in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands, to improve farmers’ productivity and get produce more quickly to shelves in Port Moresby.
“The work with Tininga, supported by the Australian and New Zealand governments, has involved not only training farmers but also developing a farm-to-city refrigerated supply chain to keep produce fresh,” the statement said.
“Tininga says thousands of farmers have benefited with Tininga’s Hailans Fres operation now shipping five to six containers a week mainly to Port Moresby, which amounts to about 160 tonnes of fresh produce a month.
“We also visited SP Brewery’s which has started to replace some barley with cassava in its production processes and which, in partnership with IFC, is supporting cassava farmers to obtain the consistent quality supply of cassava that it needs.
“However, our trip across the Highlands also brought starkly into focus some of the biggest constraints to PNG’s development – transport, safety and security issues – in a fertile region.
“But we are on helping the government address those constraints, on incentivising farmers to adopt more innovative and efficient practices and on ensuring that farmers get easier access to markets.
“PNG and the World Bank Group share a long history together.
“The World Bank has been in PNG since 1967 and our partnership has grown significantly since then; in the last seven years our support has grown from US$189.4 million (K645.95mil) in 2012 to over US$540 million (K1.84 billion) today.
“For its part, IFC has committed US$335 million (K1.14bil) of financing in PNG since 2009.
“IFC’s advisory work in the country totalled US$38.9 million (K132.6mil) at the end of last December, and is supported by Australia and New Zealand under the PNG partnership.”
The statement said World Bank is also involved in other sectors.