Henao Longgar has been an Apiculture Manager at New Guinea Fruit Company for four years. There, Henao works full-time on the company’s Honey Project which delivers beekeeping services to the rural beekeepers of the Eastern Highlands Province and the neighbouring Jiwaka and Western Highlands provinces.
Henao and her team work directly with rural beekeepers to ensure that there is good supply of honey stock coming in for the New Guinea Fruit Company to sell. The team visits the farmers to give technical advice, conduct training workshops and supply equipment.
Henao is one of twenty-five agriculturalists from Papua New Guinea who have received a Certificate IV in Agribusiness achieved as a part of an Australia Awards Papua New Guinea (AAPNG) program, delivered by the University of New England Armidale and RuralBiz Training RTO Code 90782.
The Australia Awards PNG program aims to develop capacity and leadership skills so that individuals can contribute to development in their communities while building networks at individual, institutional and country levels, at the same time strengthening the partnership between the Australian Government and the Government of Papua New Guinea.
Since returning to PNG after an AAPNG workshop at the UNE in Armidale Australia in early 2020, Henao has been making the most of the business opportunities created by the program.
Her new network has given rise to new supply, demand and distribution opportunities.
The New Guinea Fruit Company now purchases coconut oil from fellow AAPNG alumni and East New Britain entrepreneur Ephraim Jubilee from which they create cosmetics and candles.
In another instance, Henao has been able to connect rural farmers to fellow alumni Daniel Kingal to supply fruits and vegetables to him in his role as Logistics Officer at the Mount Hagen based Tininga Limited.
Henao told us that the program had been equal parts exciting and challenging as she learnt how to balance the study load with her work and family commitments.
Thanks to AAPNG Henao now has the financial skills to be able to generate project costings and she says this new skill has increased her confidence at work. The strategic thinking and planning frameworks that Henao has gained will help not only in her current role but in the future when Henao says she may branch out and start her own business.
For now, Henao is passionate about her work and is looking forward to the upcoming honey flow when she expects to meet her 2020 targets. She says that tending to the bees helps her to relax and feel calm when work gets hectic.
Outside of the office, Henao is busy as a member of a local Women’s Group, training men, women and youth in apiculture, craft, cooking and other life skills. She views training others as a creative outlet that allows her to make a positive impact on her community.
Congratulations on achieving your Certificate IV in Agribusiness Henao!