WOMEN DIGGING IN
A project is under way to encourage and foster the participation of women in agribusiness. Sarah Byrne reports.
Women in rural Papua New Guinea are keen to engage in agribusiness, but many have traditionally struggled to take leadership roles. That is beginning to change, Curtin University researcher, Dr Gina Koczberski, says.
Operating small-scale agribusiness financially empowers women by giving them greater control of household income and expenditure, according to Koczberski, who is researching ways women in rural areas of PNG can take up more leadership roles in agribusiness.
It also results in a range of benefits for the wider community. On average, 75 per cent of income generated by women is used to meet family needs, compared with 25 per cent of men’s income.
Koczberski also observes that when women take on entrepreneurial roles, families are more resilient and capable of adapting to external shocks, such as drought, illness or death.
“Women in rural Papua New Guinea are beginning to engage in agricultural activities at a commercial level.
“The economic and social impacts on families, and communities, of more women having control over their own income are likely to be significant,” she adds.
However, there is little knowledge of how women can become successful entrepreneurs, or of the barriers that limit their engagement.
Koczberski is leading a research project to address these issues, which she will conduct with Professor George Curry, also from Curtin University’s Department of Planning and Geography.
The project is funded by a PGK2.88 million grant from