Press Release

Women in Agriculture important to economic growth in PNG


The APEC Third Senior Officials meeting has commenced this morning at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Port Moresby with the first meeting on Policy Dialogue on Women in Agriculture and Fisheries.

It focuses on the participation of women in agriculture and the fisheries sectors of Papua New Guinea as an integral part of economic growth.

The Secretary for the Department of Community Development and Religion, Ms Anna Solomon in her opening remarks said women make up half of Papua New Guinea’s population and they produce and process more than 80 per cent of this country’s food with limited assistance.

The economic opportunities in agriculture and fisheries are huge. In this meeting, Papua New Guinea will gain from other APEC economies the advantage of creating more opportunities for our women to advance in these sectors.

Majority of APEC economies rely on agriculture and fisheries and Papua New Guinea’s hosting of the event allows it to learn methods of best practice from the more advanced economies as it works to promote its own economy as well as advance women’s economic empowerment.

Christiane Monsieur from the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations said Gender equality is good for the economy and it is also essential for the principle of leaving no one behind.

“Agriculture and fisheries are the major employment sectors in many economies in the APEC region, however, these sectors are underperforming in many cases because women lack resources and opportunities to reach their full potentials,” said Solomon.

Under the theme “Supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment and Inclusion in Agriculture and Fisheries Value Chain’ there are a number of ways forward that Monsieur has identified. These include: • Eliminating discrimination against women under the law to guarantee equal rights to access to and control over productive resources • Leverage on new opportunities for rural women’s economic empowerment and income generation, including through agri-food value chain • Support the participation of women in decent rural employment ad markets • Strengthen rural institutions and ensure that women and men equally benefit from and participate in such institutions • Promote collective action and the non-economic dimension of empowerment and • Improve the collection and analysis of sex-disaggregated data.

The PPFS Policy Dialogue on Women in Agriculture and Fisheries ends today