Farming communities in Papua New Guinea are likely to be hard hit by climate change due to agriculture’s vulnerability to extreme weather patterns and low level of resilience of farming to climate variability and change.
In this context, key stakeholders in the agriculture sector, including the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL), have collaborated on an intervention on climate-smart agriculture, to be referred to as “Climate-Smart Agriculture for Enhanced Food Production in Papua New Guinea”.
DAL Information Director Nicks Maniah said the project is the result of a direct request from the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) to the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in preparedness of the occurrence of similar drought in 2016 in PNG where many people were left hungry.
Maniah said the aim of the project is to facilitate the use of scientific and indigenous seasonal climate information in PNG farming communities to underpin important food production decisions and by doing so improve food security outcomes for rural communities.
The project inception meeting was held at the University of Goroka during 18-19 July 2019. Maniah, who represented DAL at meeting said it was an opportunity to ensure the project team are on the same page with the scope, objective, timelines, roles and responsibilities.
“The inception meeting was the opportunity to get to know the project partners and to build a clear roadmap together, with no confusion or mismanaged expectations,” he said.
Maniah added that the need to communicate extension information was among a number of key outcomes discussed during the project inception meeting.
“DAL’s role in the project is to create awareness on the activities of the project, utilising the DAL Newsletter, NBC radio programs, DAL website, television programs and the rural farming column of the daily The National newspaper.”
It will also provide field scientists and extension officers with DAL library materials of past and present information documented of field trials on food crops in the country as well as publish project reports and findings in the PNG Journal of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, said Maniah.
The other project partners are NARI and the Fresh Produce Development Agency.