Study finds agribusiness a challenge in Sepik region
Lack of knowledge and skills at all levels of production, limited knowledge of financial literacy, insufficient transport and market infrastructure are the main factors behind the low production and profitability of cocoa, vanilla and fishing in the Sepik region.
The EU-STREIT program (PNG) in collaboration with the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) conducted a study revealing the constraints to exploit the potentials of the cocoa, vanilla and fish value chains in the Grand Sepik.
The report highlights the need for improved cocoa and vanilla production practices, including the adoption of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices and improved post-harvest handling practices in supply chains. program value.
EU-STREIT PNG said that despite the high potential for fisheries and aquaculture in the region, challenges such as limited access to quality inputs and lack of technical capacity to adopt best practices and fishing and post-harvest handling, hinder the further development of this sector.
“The survey also shows that farmers sell their products (cocoa, vanilla and fish) outside their village or community, but the lack of road and market access is their biggest concern.
“Almost two-thirds of respondents said better road access would lead to increased commerce (buying and selling) in villages,” EU-STREIT PNG added.
EU-STREIT PNG said the survey also reveals that more than 70% of households do not have access to any form of financial services provided by banks and other financial institutions.
“Providing an expanded range of responsive and inclusive banking systems enables farmers, rural communities and agricultural businesses to access loans, banking, payment products, savings and services that are essential for agro-industry. Regarding the involvement of gender in agri-food value chains, the results indicate that decision-making is strongly influenced by traditional norms where men are considered the head of the household,” says EU-STREIT.
According to the report, about 15% of the population in the target areas has access to reliable electricity, while more than 73% of people living in rural areas have limited or no access to an energy source, about 60% of the population does not have access to any ICT service in the program areas.
The study was conducted using data collected from a random sample of 1394 farming households in the provinces of East Sepik and West Sepik where the EU-STREIT PNG program is implemented.