Aquaculture & Small Fishing Operations Training aims to strengthen rural PNG

The officers representing 10 districts of East Sepik and Sandaun Provinces who underwent Training. Photo credit: FAOPNG

EU-STREIT PNG Programme, in collaboration with National Fisheries Authority (NFA), trained fisheries officers in the Sepik Region, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to provide enhanced extension services to fishers to support sustainable development of the fisheries value chain. 

Wewak, ESP – To further strengthen fisheries extension services at district level in the Greater Sepik Region, the EU Funded UN Joint STREIT Programme in Papua New Guinea supported the capacity development of 12 senior district fisheries officers on aquaculture and small fishing operations.

Under a Letter of Agreement (LoA) signed between the PNG Government’s National Fisheries Authority (NFA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the officers successfully concluded an intense 10-week training course at the Kavieng based National Fisheries College. The national fisheries college is under NFA.

The officers representing 10 districts of East Sepik and Sandaun provinces underwent two major training modules on providing enhanced extension services in Aquaculture Training and Training on Small Fishing Operations.

The supported fisheries officers also mastered in properly setting up fish ponds, starting from site selection to pond construction, liming and fertilisation of ponds, and feed formulation. Photo credit: FAOPNG

This collaboration has helped to build the capacity of mostly rural-based extension officers who are now set to operate in collaboration with the EU-STREIT specialists in the target districts to push forward sustainable fisheries value chain development in the Sepik Region. 

“I’ve learned a lot with hands-on experiences that were very helpful. The knowledge acquired is now being used, and I’m set to work hand-in-hand with FAO Aquaculture Team throughout the Greater Sepik Region,” said Mr Philemon Maino, a fisheries officer in Yangoru-Saussia District of East Sepik Province who has already started mobilising and working with some inland fishing farmers.

The EU-STREIT Programme Coordinator Dr Xuebing Sun, while acknowledging the officers for their willingness to take part in this capacity development course, said the knowledge and experience developed through this partnership is invaluable and will support the rollout of fisheries work in the Sepik.

“Recently, the Programme strengthened its partnership with local counterparts like East Sepik and Sandaun Provincial Administration and these officers will play key roles as well to work alongside the EU-STREIT specialists in target districts to better service rural farmers”.

Fish has nutritious value in terms of protein supplement to rural communities in the Sepik and is one of three value chains supported under this rural agriculture development programme.

The EU-STREIT PNG, being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency/administrative agent, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as implementing partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the country and the Pacific region.

It focuses on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through Increasing the economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains and strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers including the business environment and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.

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