eNPC Australia, a wholly owned indigenous community company was recently engaged by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to undertake a capacity building study in the cultivation of Cocoa in Papua New Guinea.
“eNPC, who also invited GHD to associate with them to deliver a component of the study, is one of the first wholly owned indigenous companies in Australia” to be engaged by the Department said Burton Mangharam, State Manager of eNPC Western Australia in Perth yesterday.
“It is a significant achievement for an organization like eNPC to be requested by the department to assist in capacity building studies in a foreign aid project and a sign that indigenous organizations like eNPC are advancing leaps and bounds and becoming recognized for their uniqueness and their increasing capacity to deliver on government engagements ” he added.
The study is the first phase of a two phased program. Its objective is to leverage the global growth in the cocoa industry for the benefit of farmers in the PNG. It seeks to facilitate and socialise the commercialisation of the cocoa farmers such that they attract an increasing share of the revenue derived from the industry.
“The study, being delivered by an Indigenous community owned company has already proven to be inspirational for the farmers and resonate well with those involved in the project to date” said Burton Mangharam. He added that “Trusted and respectful relationships based on similar shared histories and an understanding of community values and connection to land has significantly had an impression on the mindsets of farmers”.
The study has been soundly supported by the Secretary, PNG Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL), who views this project as one of the transformational strategies required to increase livelihoods in the agriculture sector.
eNPC are awaiting to proceed with the second phase of the program expected to cost in the order of AUD2 million upon the approval of their proposal that is currently being reviewed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
This initiative is a reflection of the Federal Governments move to reach their target of 3% of contracts that the Federal Government intends to let to Indigenous owned businesses by 2020.