Changing mindsets is Lucy Nunu’s plan to advance women’s skill in agriculture in Papa, Central Province.
Lucy is the president of Papa Women in Agriculture (PWIA) and had recently attended the Global Women in Management (GWIM) Program in the United States funded by the ExxonMobil Foundation.
The quiet and soft-spoken woman from Hanuabada village just outside Port Moresby’s central business district is married to Mollet Nunu, who comes from the Papa village. Since getting married, Lucy has lived there for the last 20 years and is a part of the community.
Lucy is the first woman from her community to have participated in the GWIM program and is also the first woman to have undergone the program from the agricultural sector.
“It was a great privilege to be one of GWIM program participants, which was facilitated by ExxonMobil PNG and GWIM alumni’s Advancing PNG: Women Leadership Network (APNG: WLN),” Nunu said.
Nunu said it was great to learn new ideas from the other participants and to interact with other likeminded women during the month-long program.
Nunu identified several goals she wants to achieve together with her community of Papa but says before this can be done, there must be a change of mindset.
“One of PWIA’s goals is to move away from household farming. Our gardens are now just sufficient for daily living. With the idea of growing fresh produce on a large scale for commercial purposes, we hope it can support household incomes.
“With farming equipment donation from the Gas Resources PNG LNG Plant Limited, we intend to promote our traditional crops, especially cassava and have it commercialised. Through PWIA, we have ploughed a hectare to commercialise cassava.
“We will also have an agricultural training program set out by the Taiwanese Training Management and National Agricultural Research Institute. It is an initiative of the Central Province Women in Agriculture,” Nunu said.
Since 2006, sixty-seven Papua New Guinean women have gone through the GWIM program and are alumnae to the APNG: WLN. All the women who have undergone the GWIM program have impacted their community since their return from the program.
Dobi Isaiah from Porebada returned and utilised her learnings to start Helaro (Hope Association) Pottery that is impacting Porebada village with the revitalisation of Hiri Motu Pottery and empowering women economically by doing handicrafts and sales. Other women who have done the same in their communities include Julie Alo from Lake Kopiago, Southern Highlands Province, and Doreka Dai from Boera village in Central Province.
ExxonMobil PNG has invested over 20 million kina on women empowerment since 2015. Through its program, ExxonMobil believes that by supporting women and providing them with the right tools, training and mentoring, will empower women to change their families, build their businesses and Papua New Guinea for the better.