A Bukawa village taro project has progressed in the last six months, with farmers now harvesting for local markets in both Lae and Port Moresby.
Despite the good news, the same challenges still remain; deteriorating roads and the lack of critical bridges continue to hinder future development in the agriculture sector.
Buhalu village launched its taro project six months ago and as of yesterday, they also prepared to transport taro to Lae City.
The taro bags sitting in their new processing facility are worth around K40,000.
“The program was started to help the women who struggle to get their taro to Lae to sell against the backdrop of poor infrastructure, deteriorating roads and bridges.
“Its also for the youths who drop out from school,” says Taing Kahu.
Kahu is a local farmer and has been working closely with other counterparts in the area.
However the road to Lae is somewhat difficult, continuous neglect from all levels of government have left the people without bridges and for infrastructure to continue to deteriorate.
“Our people are struggling with bad roads and the lack of infrastructure, we are so close to Lae, but yet so far out without proper hospitals, we have huge potential for Agriculture,” says Ruben Yapi.
Yapi, a retired executive turned cocoa farmer, explains the potential in cocoa development, but also highlights the lack of infrastructure support affecting health services, and even education.
For the benefit of the people of Buhalu and Bukawa, successive governments have failed to build better roads and bridges to help the people put money in their pockets.
The road to Buhalu has been fixed and maintained by the Japanese government, however the Nawae District Authority has not helped.
The Morobe Provincial Government has also done little to assist, and perhaps it is now time for government to jump on board and lend a helping hand.