Identifying opportunities and constraints for rural women’s engagements in small-scale agricultural enterprises in Papua New Guinea (ACIAR ASEM-2014-054)


Project Leader:

Dr Gina Koczberski  (Curtin University); and co-investigators, Prof George Curry (Curtin University) and Dr Timothy Sharp (Curtin University)

PNG Research Partners: 

Papua New Guinea Oil Palm Research Association:  Steven Nake (Project leader for oil palm)
Papua New Guinea Cocoa and Coconut Institution: Robert Nailina (Project leader for cocoa)
Coffee Industry Corporation:  Dr Rueben Sengere (Project leader for coffee)
Papua New Guinea University of Technology:  Dr Veronica Bue (Project leader)

This project aims to study the factors that explain Papua New Guinean women’s low level of engagement in small-scale agricultural enterprises; identify the processes and pathways that help them move into agribusiness; and pilot/scale out identified pathways for women to move from Tier 2 (the growing of crops specifically to sell at markets) to Tier 3 (large scale production and retail of agricultural products).

Women are central to family livelihoods and wellbeing in rural Papua New Guinea. They produce the bulk of subsistence food crops, provide much of the labour for producing export cash crops, and fill valued social and community roles. Women tend to spend more of their income than men on meeting their families’ needs, so income gains for women improve their families’ quality of life. Women throughout rural Papua New Guinea are keen to increase their cash incomes.

The project objectives are to:

  1. Identify the enabling factors and individual characteristics associated with successful entrepreneurial rural women.
  2. Identify the key pathways and processes to facilitate the transition of smallholder women into successful entrepreneurs in agribusiness.
  3. Improve the capacity of women to engage in successful enterprises in agribusiness through better access to networks and business development services and a more conducive policy environment.

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