The University of New England is teaching a group of Papua New Guinean students about the benefits of commercial farming

LOOKING FORWARD: University of New England course coordinator Peter Fitzgerald.
LOOKING FORWARD: University of New England course coordinator Peter Fitzgerald.

MORE THAN 2000 kilometres from home, a group of students from Papua New Guinea are learning how to pull farmers out of poverty.

In Papua New Guinea, most farmers are small land owners and will share space with their neighbours.

Rarely do they use their land to farm products commercially.

Student Priscilla Pius said rural communities depend on what they grow in their gardens.

“Everyday you depend on what you grow, it’s a way to sustain their livelihood but not for selling in big quantities,” she said.

Priscilla Pius and Brian Yak working with nature pastured eggs in Guyra.

Priscilla Pius and Brian Yak working with nature pastured eggs in Guyra.

”The idea of diversifying, of trying to do different things and sell products for a living is something we can take back with us to start small.”

The students have covered a range of subjects, from people management, to financial record keeping, risk management and marketing and developing business proposals.

They’ve visited farms in Guyra to learn the ropes of commercial farming.

Course coordinator Peter Fitzgerald said there are commercial farms in Papua New Guinea but they are few and far between.

FARM FUN: University of New England students Priscilla Pius and Dickson Kenas.

FARM FUN: University of New England students Priscilla Pius and Dickson Kenas.

“It’s very diverse but at the end of the day we’re trying to help bring up the people farming for livelihoods to become a bit more commercial and sell their product,” he said.

”People are people at the end of the day so there’s a lot of principles that overlap no matter where you are.

“At the end of the day the aim is to bring small holder farmers out of poverty.”

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