Partnerships in PNG are really starting to grow and flourish with agreements signed with companies across all four engagement areas.
In the Rural Input Services engagement area, Koibol Trade Works, a small, rural agro-input supplier in Jiwaka, Western Highlands province, is being assisted by MDF to extend its distribution network to make their inputs more widely available to suppliers, lead demonstrations to show improved ways to increase yield, and promote their business more effectively within the country.
This model is the first-of-its-kind in this area and if successful could be copied by larger players that will increase the outreach of inputs to farmers significantly.
Recently signed, Central Highlands Feed Mill Limited also located in Jiwaka, offers locally produced silage to farmers for livestock – particularly pigs. MDF will be assisting to set up demonstrations so that farmers can see the benefits of using a locally produced product rather than imported silage, which costs 35% more creating a huge cost saving, and will be helping them to create promotional tools and billboards.
The ICT and Logistics engagement area has two strong partners in Luxembourg Investments and MiBank. MiBank is a nationwide micro-bank that connects rural based suppliers of cocoa, copra, coffee and other cash crops with a system called ‘MiPei’ which allows for buyers to deposit funds directly into their account and suppliers to withdraw at designated agents using their mobile phones or bankcard. This is a unique partnership that provides the innovative solution of a mobile wallet to empower women and people to have access to financial products.
Luxembourg Investments based out of the capital, Port Moresby, is a local investment firm working with local landowners in the remote Baimaru region of Gulf province to connect them to markets. The company is set to improve supply chain logistics for local fishermen by supplying cold storage facilities and shipping to connect with high demand for fresh fish in the capital. This partnership opens up the possibility of providing a reliable and consistent supply from the area that has never been well connected to Port Moresby.
New Guinea Fruit Company, the local fruit and honey producer based in Goroka, Eastern Highlands province is the recently signed partner in the Local Value Addition engagement area. The partnership is developing the capacity of beekeepers through modern beekeeping techniques and hive management to increase honey production and to attract more farmers towards beekeeping.
In the Tourism and Hospitality engagement area, Village Huts, MDF’s first partnership in PNG continues to accredit and register new community based guesthouses with huts in different provinces. The business is the first-of-its-kind to allow tourists to book safe and secure village homestays online, opening up new options in the PNG tourism market.
With all these exciting developments in the countries portfolio, PNG is on track to achieve its target of eight partnerships by the end of the year. The team is looking ahead to strong interventions with its existing partners.