Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Country Gender Assessment of Agriculture and the Rural Sector in Papua New Guinea

Post date Thursday, 21 November, 2019 - 00:26
Document Type Assessment Report
Content Themes Humanitarian Response Planning, Programme quality
Sources FAO


Agriculture is key for Papa New Guinea’s economy, mainly dominated by smallholder farming systems engaged in both cash crop production, most notably coffee and cocoa, and subsistence production. Papua New Guinea faces persisting institutional and governance challenges in creating an enabling environment for promoting and enhancing women’s participation in food value chains (NARI, 2002). Gender disparities are seen in access to and control over key agricultural and rural resources and services, knowledge, opportunities and markets. Rural women are major contributors to the economy – on farms, at home and in the community – but their rights are not properly recognized and they have not benefitted equally from past economic growth. They are systematically excluded from access to resources, essential services, and decision-making. 

Rural women are challenged by their multiple roles and chronic time poverty. They have the primary responsibility for ensuring the nutritional, childcare and health needs of their families. This is in addition to the many community, social and cultural activities they are expected to engage in, as well as their involvement in agriculture-related activities. Given these multiple roles, rural women tend to lack the time to participate in other opportunities that could potentially contribute to enhancing their autonomy, knowledge, skills and self-esteem. Security challenges in Papua New Guinea, including the high rate of gender-based violence, restrict women’s and girls’ mobility outside of their homes and communities. Such a lack of mobility tends to exclude women from key downstream activities within value chains, such as selling to exporters, therefore limiting their access to markets and their control over their income (NSO, 2012). 

FAO, as a development and humanitarian partner to the Government of Papua New Guinea, supports WiADU in delivering its mandate and, where possible, in refining its focus and intervention strategies to achieve sector policy outcomes, broad national policy goals and its commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well various other international treaties ratified by the Government of Papua New Guinea. WiADU is an important stakeholder in the development of agriculture and the rural sector. Its mandated role to act as the gender focal point within NDAL provides the Unit with the opportunity to coordinate policy objectives and outcomes aimed at enhancing women’s (and youth’s) participation in the sector and supporting equitable benefit sharing. 
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