Community partners in South Fly

Marketing options are being considered by villages in the Kiwaba and Manawete Regions of the CMCA Trusts in the South Fly. The focus is on the sale of mud crabs as well as fish and its by-products.

Mrs. Rachel Aruma Chairlady for the Tirere Village Women Social Issues Concern Group (WSICG) says she and her community frequently participate in daily fishing activities.

She said for her village, most have left the main Tirere village and have moved to Bamboo 2, because the fishing company operates there, making it easier for the villagers to sell their fresh catch.

“We spend so much to travel to Daru to sell fish and that is a burden for us. We don’t have cold storage to transport fish, we don’t have the fuel to travel long distances, leaving little to buy what we want. The businessman here at our reach provides the basic economic services we need, and we have money to buy rice and other store goods right here.”

Mrs. Aruma says: “The money is in the water, the fish we catch we sell the same day to the buyer based at Bamboo 2 fishing camp. It is even a bonus for us, as the businessperson not only buys the fish but its by-products like the airbag, which has a higher price than the fish. She said fish is bought for K5 a kilo while airbags fetch around K25.

Collaboration to deliver projects

The Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) is collaborating with Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to develop business models for small-scale fisheries in Fly River communities, through a project funded by the Australia Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR). The focus is on women’s roles in mud crab fishing and tilapia processing.

CSIRO’s Sara Busilacchi, a specialist in fisheries, livelihoods, and value chains, visited the country to co-facilitate a multi-stakeholder workshop in Kiunga attended by officers from government, private sector, community, and development organisations. Outcomes from the workshop will form the basis for further investment from development partners to create small-scale fisheries options for communities.

The workshop was followed by a field trip involving women leaders visiting selected Fly River villages in the Middle and South Fly. The field trip was to help Ms. Busilacchi better understand the lifestyle, travel distances, and remoteness faced by communities. Ms. Busilacchi was delighted to visit the Western Province, as traveling from Kiunga to Daru on the Fly River was an important learning experience.

She also visited the newly built Community Learning Centres (CLC) and learned about other OTDF development initiatives. She acknowledged the work that OTDF and partners were doing in communities. A final report is being compiled by OTDF and CSIRO for presentation to stakeholders and development partners.

OTDF Media