Proper roads linking rural communities to Urban Centres is the biggest obstacle for rural farmers and EU-STREIT PNG is having a first hand account of these challenges since the programme’s commencement in 2020.
A recent mission to West Sepik province via vehicles can only be described as very challenging to deliver the much needed Cocoa and Vanilla training successfully making it all the way to Vanimo town safe and sound and also witnessing first hand the skills of PNG’s rural drivers and local man power.
Cocoa farmers especially are feeling the impact more with the cocoa pod borer devastation along with farmers in rural Sepik expressing the bad road conditions the main hindrance affecting production in their villages.
“Our people can cultivate cocoa and vanilla but when production is ready to transport, road is an issue that made them give up.” Said Noel Mundock, the provincial DAL Tree Crops and Export Officer for the West Sepik province who have collaborated with EU-STREIT PNG’s mission from Nuku District all the way to Vanimo town where the team is now conducting their first cocoa training.
The partner responsible for the maintenance of feeder roads and bridges linking production areas to main highways, The United Nations International Labor Organization (UN ILO) is also working across the clock to assist in maintaining feeder roads in rural areas. One of their main approach is training the locals on basic road maintenance skills so they can at least keep their feeder roads in decent condition for transporting their produces and other necessities.
Feature Pic: ESTREIT PNG training team and locals navigating their way through West Sepik’s though terrain. Credit: ESTREIT PNG