Economic Development

From inception as an independent organisation in 2010, OTDF has worked tirelessly with the CMCA communities to establish family and village-based food production options. The long-term strategy is to establish a sustainable subsistence program supplying basic food needs with the ability to sell excess produce. From this base, farmers can then undertake an aspirational step change into commercial farming.

Thousand Eaglewood Seedlings Distributed

Tonnes Cuplump Rubber Exported

Vanilla Vines Propagated

Click to view West Agro Plan
Driven by the OTDF vision and the PNG Medium Term Development Plan II goal to enable rural communities to prosper through economic development, OTDF introduced the Livelihood Development Package concept in 2015. Premised on the semi-commercial production of rice, eaglewood and rubber, this program was the proof of concept and pilot trials leading to the WestAgro Master Plan.

The OTDF Board agreed to commission an agribusiness Master Plan in November 2017. This Master Plan incorporates all key components required to revolutionise agricultural development and production across Western Province. Organisational structures include the establishment of Agro Industrial Centre’s (AIC’s); community smallholder services; and commercial nucleus estate hubs to support communities to drive the long-term.

In January 2018, a team of three traveled the entire length of the CMCA corridor from Tabubil to the Kiwai Islands. A second visit in March focused on the North Fly region, including a visit to Nomad station and local vanilla farmers. From these initial trips, desktop surveys, tapping into OTDF knowledge and initial feedback from the FRPG, a concept Master Plan was developed and presented at the Western Province Development Forum in Kiunga in April 2018 to gain consent before completion. Pleasingly, all 80 participants representing all levels of government, development partners, private sector and civil society approved the WestAgro concept as a means to deliver on large scale agriculture-based investment and growth with high levels of smallholder participation. included the Master Plan project lead, Johnathan Spencer who visited the Middle and South Fly with a particular focus on the Balimo region. By October all stakeholder feedback was incorporated and the vision, commodity implementation plans, and all associated costs was presented to the Western Province ‘Joint Provincial Planning & Budget Priority Committee’ in Balimo in October 2018. Chaired by the Governor, with all open Members of Parliament and the Provincial Administrator present the Committee resolved to accept the WestAgro Master Plan and approved of its implementation in partnership with OTDF and IAI. This included a commitment to secure land and funding for the FRPG’s equity participation. Widespread community consent for the WestAgro concept was voiced during the annual OTDF communications patrol across the entire CMCA corridor, then more formally by the CMCA Syndicate & Advisory Committee in November.

This culminated in the OTDF Board unanimously resolving to approve the WestAgro Master Plan and allocating PGK38.1 million in funding from the CMCA component of the WPPDTF for establishing an initial three AIC’s at Samagos in the North Fly, Kaviananga in the Middle Fly and Suki in the South Fly regions.

A ceremony was conducted at the Cassowary Hotel on November 20, 2018 during which 40 invited guests celebrated the completion of this visionary plan. Speakers included the OTML Board Chair, Sir Moi, and a new and exciting era for economic development across Western Province and implementation of the Master Plan will develop the capacity of hundreds of CMCA farming communities.

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