Kopernik in Papua: Supporting Livelihoods of Small-Scale Fishers and Farmers

Papua is among Indonesia’s poorest provinces with the highest poverty rate in the country - 26%– much higher compared to the national average of 9 percent. It is the largest province, which is rich in natural resources and around 70% of Papua’s population is engaged in primary industries such as agriculture and fishing - mostly on a small-scale level. Based on Kopernik’s unmet needs assessment in 2018, many small-scale farmers in Papua have limited knowledge about good agricultural practices, access to appropriate farming tools, and access to market information.

As a follow-up from our Unmet Needs research in 2018, this year we launched a new initiative to support the livelihoods of farmers and fishers in five different villages in Papua with cacao, fisheries, and seaweed as the focus commodities. The five villages are Sabeyab, Tabla Supa and Kendate, and Pai and Nusi island. The three-year project is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Japan.

Since starting the project, we have found that each village has its own unique challenges that range from inefficient cooling systems for transporting seafood products between islands, low product prices for all three commodities due to limited knowledge and access to technologies for post-harvest processing, as well as facing failed harvests due to unpredictable weather patterns and climate change.

Based on these findings, we have mapped out a three-year program that includes establishing farmers' hubs, introducing simple post-processing technologies, training on good agricultural practices, and connecting farmers to potential buyers.

We look forward to sharing with you more updates and the development of the Papua program – stay tuned on Kopernik’s website and social media.