Promoting Female Financial Independence
Most suppliers tell us that the return on coconuts is far better than the other traditional cash crops, which is often arduous and requires the physical help of men.
A result of this is that more than half of our coconut suppliers are now women. They tell us that for the first time they are able to utilise their land resource themselves. For some of these women it is the first time that they have been able to earn their own income off the land that they have always owned.
The Tolai people of the Gazelle peninsula on the island of New Britain have a matrilineal system of inheritance. Children become part of their mother’s clan and, nominally at least, ownership of land passes from mother to daughter.
Supplier: Kilala Tatani
Kilala Tatani is a smallholder at Napapar. In this video she tells us a little of the process and schedule for a standard order of 1,000 coconuts.
Her family is one of many smallholders who all regularly supply Niugini Organics with a standard order of 1000 wild-harvested coconuts each month. Lavinia Tovue is our Smallholder Coordinator. She schedules the orders and is also taking this interview in Kuana, a Tolai language.
Lavinia also ensures that our organisation meets organic standards. She also does regular field trips to address farmers concerns. An annual audit is also taken of properties by a Australian representative from the OFC for organic certification.
Kilala addresses what many families in the area have faced; fluctuating copra prices and an unstable economy -especially since the relocation of the capital Rabaul due to the 1994 volcanic eruptions. Many businesses never recovered.
The high market price paid for organic coconuts to smallholders, and the consistent demand generated by Niugini Organics, is therefore highly valuable to the local community.