UNDP supporting Enga's lands of opportunity

December 31, 2021

Local food is grown without using any fertilizers or chemicals. Photo: Jamshed Khoshbeen/ UNDP Papua New Guinea

UNDP is supporting local smallholder farmers in Enga Province with Low Value Grants - as seed funding opportunities for community-based projects, under the Strengthening Integrated Sustainable Landscape Management in Enga Province Project.

Delegates from UNDP, the European Union, the Climate Change Development Authority, and key government partners recently visited one grantee’s project site an hour from Wabag town, the capital of Enga Province.

The Lagaip Poverty Relievers Association hosted this December delegation in Wonepap village, in Pilikambi district, to showcase the work they plan to do with their PGK90, 000 Low Value Grant. This seed funding is part of the Strengthening Integrated Sustainable Landscape Management in Enga Province Project - being delivered by UNDP and funded by the EU. The association aims to support community-based local projects to launch climate-friendly, sustainable economic development and inclusive livelihoods initiatives.

Set on five hectares of agricultural land, the proposed site will host a potato nursery to grow seedlings to supply the association’s 100 farmers and mass-cultivate the local organic potato varieties grown traditionally in the region.

Association Coordinator Mr. Tony Sulupin, said the Low Value Grant was a great achievement and opportunity that they have not been able to access before to kickstart the project.

“We are an active community, and we have many projects in the village. But funding has always been a major setback for our community,” Mr Sulupin said. “I would like to thank the UNDP and EU for this funding allocation, my association will be able to do a lot with this funding.”

Inland fish farming is another proposed project with 50 subsistence fish farmers in the association. Each farmer will require five small ponds on their land lots. The delegates visited one of the farmers’ fishponds which breeds freshwater tilapias.

The visiting delegates also enjoyed a local market sampling fresh produce including potatoes, greens and strawberries and meeting local farmers. The delegates were impressed by the landscape and how naturally the local food is grown, without using any fertilizers or chemicals.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. Edward Vrkic said, “This funding will provide catalytic support to help recipients scale their efforts. We know that export destinations are growingly interested in accessing these products and there remains incredible opportunity to improve livelihoods."

The delegation also included the EU’s Deputy Head of Cooperation, Mr. Adrien Mourgues; CCDA General Manager and REDD+ and Mitigation Division, Ms. Gwen Sissiou; EU Team Leader Planet and Prosperity, Mr. Marco Arena; Innovative Financing Specialist for Forestry and Climate Change, Ms. Daisy Lepon; Principal Policy Advisor, Economic, Research, Policy, Planning Programme of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Timothy Lawton; Enga Provincial Administration; and the UNDP Project team.

By 2022, the project will aim to provide funding to more than 40 grantees to strengthen the sustainable and inclusive economic development of the Enga Province of Papua New Guinea. It also aims to support local organisations to improve and support climate-friendly livelihood opportunities.