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PRESS RELEASE

60,000 Coffee and Cocoa Farmers in Papua New Guinea to Benefit from Major Agriculture Project

February 28, 2014

World Bank Providing US$30 Million in New Funds

WASHINGTON, February 28, 2014 –Today the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved an additional US$30 million for the Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP), Papua New Guinea’s single largest agriculture initiative, which will benefit up to 60,000 coffee and cocoa farmers and their families.

Over 85 percent of the country’s population lives in rural areas and most depend on small-scale agriculture for their food and livelihoods. Coffee and cocoa are two major cash crops which provide critical income for more than half a million households.

PPAP aims to work with smallholder farmers to double yield and improve the quality of their coffee and cocoa, and increase their incomes.

PPAP is a hugely important initiative, designed to help thousands of growers get higher earnings from their produce,” said Laura Bailey, World Bank Country Manager for Papua New Guinea.It is also providing a critical boost to the coffee and cocoa industries which remain significant forces for the economy. In this sense, it is truly a win-win for agriculture in PNG.”

PNG’s coffee and cocoa production have both declined over the last decade as a result of a range of factors, including: a lack of extension services in many areas; inadequate replanting, with many trees over 40 years old; and the devastating impact of cocoa pod borer (CPB). After the arrival of this pest, East New Britain, the country’s main cocoa producing province, saw an 80 percent drop in production between 2008 and 2012.

Through the project, partnerships between farmers and NGOs, farmer group cooperatives or local businesses are selected and established under a competitive process. Partnerships provide farmers with planting materials, extension services, access to certification schemes that bring higher prices, and other services.

In CPB-affected areas, partnerships are providing training and demonstrations to help farmers manage the pest and hybrid plants that are more CPB resistant. Such measures have been shown to eliminate as much as 98 percent of infestation.

This year, PPAP will also start rehabilitating and improving maintenance of up to 200km rural roads to improve farmers’ access to markets in selected areas.

PPAP was originally launched in 2010. With the additional financing, it will aim to double the current number of partnerships from 25 to 50; increase services to participating farmers, including nutrition and literacy training, and increase its support to women farmers.

The project is also providing institutional support to the Cocoa Board and Coffee Industry Corporation to improve coordination of the industries and the sustainability of the project.

The Additional Financing is being provided by an IDA credit of US$30 million with US$6.4 million from the European Union,US$4.5 million from the Government of Papua New Guinea, and more than US$10 million from the private sector, bringing the total value of the project to just under US$51 million. The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), a current donor to the project, is expected to provide further support.

The project will now close in the year 2019. It is led by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, the Coffee Industry Corporation and Cocoa Board of Papua New Guinea.

PPAP is currently working in six provinces – East New Britain Province, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Eastern Highlands Province, Western Highlands Province, Jiwaka Province and Simbu Province - with possible expansion to other areas with the new funds.

 

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2014/345/MNA