Extension service is the bedrock of agriculture in Papua New Guinea

by planter’s child adventures

Growing up with a father who is an agriculture extension officer, I have witnessed and have seen the day to day significant challenges of delivering farmer trainings in rural villages with limited or nil resources.

In Kaiapit in Markham where agriculture extension is active, officers still go out to teach farmers and serve the people.

As seen in the photographs above this training was basically to train farmers to grow rice and other crops like cucumbers, watermelon and Chinese cabbages in the off season.

NARI through Taiwan ICDF supplied seedlings and also gave a rice milling machine for the farmers to use.

This kind of training is important as it can guide farmers to meet targets like how many kilograms of rice to harvest and the expected quality during harvest time.

When farmers are empowered with relevant knowledge and skill, they are better placed to see where value chain meets the supply chain.

These are little things but they are very very important at the grass root farmer level. This kind of training coupled with specific others can have a remarkable improvement on the lives of farmers. It can also encourage farmers to go down the food chain and diversify in the sale of their produce.

This means getting enough quality and scale right to meet the consistent quality required and premium markets desired which is the bigger picture.

Farmers always welcome this kind of training with gratitude and humility to learn.

Dad told me that they enjoyed a hearty meal of taro creamed in gur(claypot) and chicken with the farmers after the training.

DAL staff and farmers enjoying a meal after the training at Antiragen village.

This is also an opportunity for the Taiwanese officials to learn about peoples livelihood, culture and the language of Markham people which is important part of people to people connection and public diplomacy in practice.

And collaborations like this is the way forward in agriculture extension at the district level. Investing in rural agriculture is key to improve farmer knowledge and skills and meeting key expectations along the value and supply chain. It is also significant for peoples livelihood sustenance.

With luv from Gaz

by planter’s child adventures

Katie is the one on my right.

Happy birthday buddy buddy. Joyeaux anniversaire ma belle Katie.

Who would have thought the fanatic love for Mark Gasnier and his shimmy step and timing was the middle ground that paved way for a lifelong friendship.

You can perhaps laugh about this and blame it on the cool sounding surname and publicity around St George Illawarra at that time in 2010. Credit goes to the press.

The conversation started with the centre’s tale and rest is history. I met Cathy Langu during my freshman year at the University of Papua New Guinea and we became great friends. She majored in history and gender studies and we both studied political science as the minor sequence.

For four years our uni life was full of music adventures of truly old schooled souls, endless buai walks to Rainbow(it was her influence that I started chewing buai) and a keen determination to reach for a GPA of 4 as target. Give it up to good old reading books and Mental As Anything- Live It Up as motivation song of the gang.

We would study late into the night with smoke almost coming out from our burning heads and that’s some defining moments of great comradeship.

Personality wise, she was the talker and the mediator to my reserved yet comical side. I am hopeless when it comes to mediating civil matters. haha I blame my no-nonsense approach to life. But I made a good buddy, one who could look after a sick friend whose homesick was chronic which stemmed from a family with only one sibling.

Cathy was a great friend who helped me emotionally, financially and motivated me to pursue my dreams.

In 2015, we both joined PNGDFAIT and worked as colleagues before I left for another adventure. I have so much gratitude for her and have followed her progress to date. Looking back, I’m proud of you buddy buddy. Don’t forget You Will Never Walk Alone to Barcelona.

She convinced me to play soccer and we became teammates at Yarangs. Nothing in this world can replace the feeling of playing for your home team with pride, passion and purpose. Even life in Mosbi would be hopeless too. We die Yarangs for life. Nan ima’. Dangki tsira dzi raing bini.

Cathy became a family and we can speak tokples Adzera with pride. Dangki tsira bingan.

I wish you success on your special day with so much love and gratitude.

Your affectionate friend


Fathers know best so do your best

If I were to choose a favourite instrument, I’d choose the guitar or the drum as my gratitude.

by Doreen Philip

One of the key secrets of successful relationships is the ability to inspire and encourage people. There is great power in appreciating people. This one’s for my cheerful McLyn.

We both like to read. She loves cats, I love dogs. She loves Barcelona, I love Liverpool and we are fans of the Blue Blood Club.

I met her briefly at EM Haus in Port Moresby in 2019 and thought by then she would have forgotten me.

I was surprised when she warmly welcomed me to rotation life at the plant site with a plate full of fruits and muffins. At that moment, I knew McLyn Bado Daviaga was a family oriented person.

She would never pass by without a wave or greeting. And only few people can do that. Don’t be offended just because I said this, I am hopeless with my reserved personality too.

McLyn comes from Bogia, Begesin and Walium in the Madang province. She is the second born in a family of five children.

She completed her secondary schooling at Goroka Secondary School in 2009 and became the recipient of the national government’s academic excellence award to further her education at the University of Technology in Lae.

It was her father’s dream to see his children pursue engineering.

“This was my biggest achievement. My parents had to pay less than K700 and Goroka Secondary School at that time received a top five ranking in the country,” McLyn told me.

Her decision to take up electrical engineering at PNG Unitech was one that was influenced by her father and her elder brother who was doing mechanical engineering at that time.

 McLyn found physics challenging and wanted to understand it. So taking up electrical engineering made sense.

 Outside of the classroom setting, she was a star too. She used to play soccer in Lae and Goroka. And football has taught her to be a team player with effective communication skills that is vital in personal and professional work environment.

On the 16th of May in 2014, she graduated with a degree in Engineering in Electrical (Power) Engineering. For six years, McLyn worked as an instrument technician for ExxonMobil PNG.

Her day-to-day work involved doing preventative and corrective maintenance on the instruments and equipment at the PNG LNG plant outside of Port Moresby.

McLyn is second on the left in this picture with her work colleagues.

 Special talents like McLyn help us to understand and appreciate the work they do and the role of engineering and technology in a business setting where safety is number one priority.

 “Never give up when you are in school. Despite whatever circumstance you are going through; keep your head above the water. Be submerged but do not drown, in the field, make a mark in a male dominated working environment in order to be recognised and be remembered for it,’’ McLyn told me when I asked for her advice to young people.

She went on to highlight that hard work and perseverance can pay off.”Do your best and God will do the rest.’’

For her better satisfactions comes from fixing something or run something and see it works.  She said the happiness that comes from this challenge is gold.

McLyn’s testament is attributed to her father who is a police officer and her late mum, who served the Finance Department as a clerk and a cheque examiner for over 30 years until her passing, last year in October.

Her life revolves around her family and most times you will find her in the company of siblings.

McLyn now works in Lihir and I wish her success coupled with peace, joy and love.

There Is More Than One Way To Succeed, Thank you Aloy Yang

His willingness to roll up his sleeves and learn has paid off for Aloy Yang. This Finschaffen chap walked through the gates of UPNG with nothing but a hunger to succeed in an industry he knew nothing about in the beginning.


Dressed in boots and work wear, Aloy Hulewe Yang is quick to check there’s no dust on his hands and introduce himself with a handshake. He is the kind of down to earth person you feel like you’ve met before.

I first met Aloy at the LNG plant outside of Port Moresby during my time at ExxonMobil PNG. With his easygoing manner, it was easy to get to know him both personally and as a colleague.

He would step out of his office, wait at the lobby and ask my colleague Roney and me to walk to the mess for lunch.  We would squad up, laugh our lungs out all the way to the mess and back. The kind of laugh that explodes in tears and I remember spilling cordial at the mess and I received a reassurance support from Aloy that my dream of seeing Oshen live in concert would still come true or else I should go to Amerika.

But this laughter comes with key learning of developing a clutter free mind with the willingness to renew commitment to happiness and maximizing potential in life.

Aloy Yang’s journey to ExxonMobil PNG was not one paved on a rosy path.

Fourteen years ago, Aloy walked through the gates at UPNG’s Waigani campus to study economics. This, he thought would take him to his dream job to work in a senior role at the Bank of PNG.

 This changed when he realized who controls the market, and that’s oil and gas producing countries and companies. That’s when he decided to work for EMPNG.

He applied five times, nothing happened since 2010.Giving up wasn’t an option. After almost ten years, his application was successful, this time replacing an expatriate as export and shipping coordinator at EMPNG.

“My biggest achievement at EMPNG is being able to manage pressure and be exposed to new ideas, working in a multi-cultural environment and of course learn about the corporate world, said Aloy.

Indeed this is a testament of dreams and reality. Too often we give up too soon. Sometimes we don’t bother to try because we are convinced that we will be unsuccessful. The 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge once said, “Persistence and determination alone are unstoppable.’’

And to do great things require a certain state of mind. It requires optimism, determination, clarity, love for mankind and humility.

Aloy’s story begins in Sembang and Fafac in Finschaffen, Morobe Province. He was born in the village and recalled, “The struggles of my parents to keep the family going, taught me to work hard and appreciate little things in life. Some of the items I keep are more than ten years old. I wear a same shirt for ten years and am using the same bed sheet since 2006.’’

Aloy is the second born in a family of five children. His father left school in grade three and became a self-taught carpenter while his mother remained a stay home mum.

At the age of seven, he moved to Lae in Bumayong where he started schooling in 1991 until 2005. Aloy went on to complete a degree in Economics at UPNG graduating in 2011.

During his time at uni, Aloy has held several leadership roles one that he became president of the Morobe Student Union in 2009. Participation in extra curricular activities and platforms like this are an opportunity to build self-confidence, learn to respect others and their opinions and of course, build a strong relationship for personal and professional growth.

On the road to success, every little bit, everything counts. After graduation, Aloy joined Westpac’s Waigani branch as a customer service and loans officer. A role that saw him attend to queries from individuals as well as corporate clients.

Fast forward in 2012, an opportunity came up to work for Puma Energy PNG Refining and Aloy took it with both hands. He was in charge of refinery supply, production and sales logistics of crude oil and petroleum products.

That same year Aloy etched his name in port management when he became the operations supervisor coordinating terminal operations of vessels for shift workers at Motukea where he was attached with International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), a global port management company cited by Asian Development Bank as one of the top five major marine terminal operators in the world, with operations in South America, Australia and Asia.

The best advice he’s been given so far, “Learn all you can, be prepared to answer any question, if you don’t know, ask, or search. If the door does not open now, doesn’t mean it remains closed forever. Surely, there’s a way to get up. there.’’

 Aloy’s advise to young person out there, “Obey your parents, respect others and learn all you can. Other people’s failures and success should be a lesson to you. Never let people’s judgment prison your life forever.’’

Aloy is grateful for the unwavering support of his family especially his parents.

Northern Environmental Solutions partner with Oro Provincial Government to celebrate World Environment Day

Readers Contribution

Northern Environmental Solutions Inc (NESI), a newly established local NGO with a purpose to carry out reforestation programmes, sustainable agriculture and advocate on environmental issues affecting Oro Province has been given a boost by the Oro Provincial Government as a joint programme in celebrating the recent World Environment Day in Oro Province.

The World Environment Day Celebration in the province was funded by the Oro Provincial Government which saw the planting of over 1, 300 trees covering 17 schools which includes elementary, primary, high, secondary and TVET. The 17 schools that participated in the tree planting from 1st – 04th June, 2021 include Kokoda elementary, Kokoda Primary, Kokoda High, Kokoda TVET, Gorari primary, Ajeka primary, Agehenambo primary, Sangara primary, Sangara Elementary, Popondetta primary, Ijika Primary, Urio primary, Eroro primary, Inoda high, Embogo high, Popondetta secondary and Martyrs secondary.  The tree seedlings were taken from the NESI’s Project base at Arehe Block, Oro Province.

NESI’s Project Manager Mr. Christopher Soka while acknowledging the support and partnership program funded by the Oro Provincial Government stated that environment protection is everyone’s responsibility and as part of our work streams, we wish to extend our program to support schools in tree planting during this event. We are delighted to provide tree seedlings to landscape and provide shade while giving fresh oxygen to the students.  

“I wish to thank Hon. Governor Gary Juffa and his First Secretary Mr. Edward Mimino for their support and passion in environment protection and reforestation and conservation projects which are very significant for human survival while living in harmony with nature. On behalf of the Northern Environmental Solutions Team, I thank the partnership and joint program as it was a positive response and we are looking forward to working with Oro Provincial Government including two district governments and all stakeholders in the province.

Hon. Juffa gave his message to the students that it is very important for kids to be taught about the importance of environment so that they can become responsible citizens in the future and take ownership for their actions. He further stated that PNG has the 3rd largest rainforests in the world and it up to us the young children to be proud of and maintain rather than deplete. 

The facilitator from the Oro Provincial Government, Mr. Edward Mimino who is the First Secretary to Governor Juffa thanked the Northern Environmental Solutions Inc for its projects currently in place and encourages all people of Oro to start doing something that foster cooperation and mutual benefits to everyone.

The celebration ended with a presentation at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium when the NESI Project Manager Christopher Soka was flown over by the Oro Provincial Government and he gave a presentation with Hon. Gary Juffa on environment day celebration hosted by NCDC.   

About Northern Environmental Solutions Inc

Northern Environmental Solutions Inc (NESI) is a newly established and registered local NGO with IPA Certificate Number: 5-109983 being incorporated under the Association Incorporation Act, with a purpose to carry out reforestation, sustainable agriculture, address climate change and environmental issues affecting Northern Province and expand throughout to Papua New Guinea.  As a local NGO, NESI is supporting local communities in reforestations, conservations and sustainable agricultural programmes in Oro province.

If Christopher was a line in a hymn, he would be ‘pass me not oh gentle savior’

For my beloved brother, Christopher Tataeng, whose modest personality continue to inspire me daily.

by planter’s child adventures

Meet Christopher Tataeng aka CT. He is my big brother, mentor and guardian.

Christopher’s paternal grandfather and my paternal grandfather are brothers. We come from a village at the foothills of Kaiapit in Markham called Gantisap.

Christopher was named after our great grand father called Nabia and he has lived up to the legacy of this name.

He completed his secondary schooling at Kabiufa Adventist Secondary School in Eastern Highlands where his father worked for a coffee livelihood support project.

“Growing up I wanted to become a pilot and soar the skies. Fascinated by Fireman Sam, I wanted to be a fireman too,” Christopher chuckled.

Due to lack of advise from guidance teachers and accessibility challenge, he ended up in the school of social sciences at the University of Papua New Guinea in 2005.

The challenge that he went through on all fronts made made him wanted to share information with others so they too can be informed to make a better choice.

” I wanted to influence the outcome irrespective of one’s socioeconomic status as I believe every human being has the innate God given potential of channel of blessing to receive and give willing fully. And I believe HR strand came at the right time for me to switch.”

Christopher found his calling when he switched courses to study human resource management at the School of Business Administration.

Mentoring and coaching program, interview coaching sessions, career talks, CV write ups, guest lectures were his professional and personal plans of giving back in human capacity development.

In 2010, Christopher graduated with flying colours. I was a first-year journalism student at that time. I hold him in high regard and admiration.

He went on to work for Ok Tedi Mining Limited and made his way up and out to High Arctic Energy Services as a manager before he left for other engagements.

CT is the most inspiring person you could ever meet. I have learnt a lot from listening to his conversations about day to day life to helping underprivilege kids to conducting interviews for CEOs. I marveled at what I hear with much respect.

One of his greatest achievements was a Youth Employment Project in 2016. In this project, CT was involved in creating pathways for marginalized disadvantaged youth from the settlement of Port Moresby into formal sector as part of the World Bank Urban Youth Employment Project.

Why was the above achievement seen as greatest compared to the ones from mining and oil and gas experience?

“It is because I touched (influence the outcome) the lives of the hopeless, disillusioned, discouraged but promising young Papua New Guineans. To see the youth turn around to be somebody full of hope for tomorrow with their eyes beaming with light was truly the greatest achievement.”

In the mining and oil and gas industry, CT’s mission is to touch lives while working. This means building relationships with the locals and looking at ways to impact the lives of youth.

“I’m happy to influence youth development program and sponsor them to convention and school upgrade program. I’m sure, they’ll be a lot of Chris through such approach.”

Today, CT is still making this impact in the formal workplace environment at Lihir.

“To see the results in the heart of youth was memorable and lasting when you know you’ve achieved something.”

Dangki tsira, thank you CT for being a champion of change, an inspiration and role model for many including, myself.

Thank you dad

by planter’s child adventures

Today I’m reminded of the importance of family and living responsibly.

I am indebted to my father whose love and passion for agriculture and farmer extension work continue to inspire me daily.

I am also grateful to all Markham farmers who have made my childhood truly special and memorable.

Dad taught me to embrace education with commitment, discipline, determination and perseverance.

He showed me the difference between planting and burying. Indeed agriculture is an art itself.

And I’m proud that I can speak in Adzera and hold a conversation too.

Dad’s birthright guaranteed my university education for four years. I owe my success to his determination to see us think and live independently with resilience and values of respect for simple people.

He introduced me to the Beatles and here I am another diehard Beatles fan. One who can sing with conviction for a Liverpool affection.

To this end, I send All My Loving to dad.

Dangki tsira ramang.

Mural painting promotes creativity and friendly environment

by planter’s child adventures

In an effort to encourage positivity and raise awareness to the public to take care of the city, AkzoNobel has collaborated with National Capital District Commission and Ray White with Tool Boox to do mural painting in Port Moresby.

About fifty participants including youth from Tool Box completed painting murals of traditionally inspired designs on the property wall of Ray White along the Sir John Guise Drive in Port Moresby.

The aim of Let’s Colour project was to use colour as a platform to express positivity and power of renewal that comes from painting with belief that paint could transform lives through a facelift that could create a friendly environment.

As part of AkzoNobel social responsibility to give back to the community, the mural painting is one of AkzoNobel community projects. 

Tracy Konj, marketing executive from AkzoNobel said paints spread colours, colours convey a beautiful story and the use of mural as a way to express feelings has the potential to impress the eye and inspire the soul.

“It’s an opportunity to educate the public to take care of the city and to discourage graffiti on buildings,’’ Tracy said.

AkzoNobel GM, Ravendren Kanniah said Taubman’s will continue to collaborate with NCD to transform the community we do business in. While engaging the local pool of talented painters and contributing to building a better and colourful community.

Peter Elavara, from Tool Boox said it’s a great initiative to educate, entertain and inspire the youth to embrace this artistic talent and use it to change the perception around graffiti vandalism in the city.

Peter reiterated that since 1989, graffiti vandalism was an issue with the use of aero spray on public buildings.

“We have engaged youth from the settlements to enhance their painting and drawing skills. It’s on the job that we inspire and transform these talents from just scribbling on papers to actually transferring their drawings and designs on mural painting,’’ Peter said.

The painting of the Ela Beach wall mural along the sea wall and the city bus stops is also one of the anti-graffiti collaboration work of AkzoNobel and NCDC aimed to transform and community we do business in.

Students at Markham Valley Secondary School to benefit from taro planting

by planter’s child adventures

The taro journey at Markham Valley Secondary School started few weeks ago with a small taro plot. Encouraged by the growth of the taro, grade nine students in an effort to embrace self-reliance and and put into practice life skills at school, planted 563 taro suckers.

In one of the plots students with the supervision of teachers, planted 323 suckers. Another 240 were also planted in another plot.

Taro is a root vegetable grown primarily for its edible corms and leaves. Preferred scientific name colocasia esculenta.

In Markham, taro is known as umant in the Adzera language.

Enjoy your day with taro.