Twenty participants from four provinces of Papua New Guinea have deepened their agribusiness skills in the latest phase of a partnership between ExxonMobil PNG and Australia Awards that is developing PNG’s workforce and human capacity.

The Australia Awards Introduction to Agribusiness Short Course, which took place in Jiwaka from 12-16 August, saw participants from Central, Gulf, Hela and Southern Highlands provinces develop their skills and knowledge during interactive classroom sessions and regional site visits.

Workshop sessions included business skills for farmers, financial management, value chains improvement, and marketing.  Site visits to Tininga Fresh Produce and a local agribusiness operator in Jiwaka enabled participants to learn more from successful local farmers and share their own experiences.

The PNG Australia Partnership continues to support the development of vital skills and knowledge in Agriculture, a priority area for PNG.

Of the 20 course participants, 17 were female highlighting Australia’s commitment to women’s economic empowerment.

The course was part of a continuing partnership between ExxonMobil PNG and the Australian Government to build knowledge and skills in a priority sector for Papua New Guinea. Two previous agribusiness courses were held in 2017 and 2018.

ExxonMobil PNG Managing Director Andrew Barry, said the partnership with the Australian Government was part of its efforts to develop PNG’s human capacity and support local communities.

‘The agriculture sector has the potential to impact many communities and we are pleased to continue our support in this area to promote economic growth and improve the standard of living’, said Barry.

In a demonstration of the partnership’s enduring returns, course co-facilitator Mr Bruce Lip Was who completed a Certificate IV in Agribusiness in 2017, returned to share his knowledge as an Australia Awards alumnus.

Mr Lip Was, who works for the Fresh Produce Development Agency, joined representatives from The University of New England and Rural Biz Training to lead the course.