Local capacity building through transformational learning - PNG case study

G. Palaniappan, L. Bonney, C. Birch, B. Chambers, P. Seta-Waken, D. Benny, R. Malie, P. Wesis, P. Utama

Research output: Contribution to journalOther Journal Articlepeer-review


Small-scale farmers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have long practiced subsistence farming that involves simple, labour intensive technologies using limited capital and few purchased inputs, and continue to do so due to poor transport infrastructure and lack of market information. Consequently, productivity, income and return on labour have been low leading to poverty and food insecurity. In this study, the traditional approach of improving farm income by increasing production and productivity solely through technical capacity building of small farm was not followed. Instead a mixed method approach was used by establishing value chains, and engaging links in the chain involved in production, processing, transport, marketing and consumption and by using visual methods of identifying training needs of small landholders to enhance their capacity to participate. The challenges that small landholders faced were identified in a training needs workshop, using visual ethnographic techniques. Specific training needs were identified as horticulture production, business management and marketing. Small landholders from the Central Province were trained to improve their capability to capitalize on opportunities in the value chain. This paper focuses on transformational learning theory and methods that contributes to instrumental (skills and knowledge) learning and communicative understanding (about values and beliefs), and how it was applied in the socio-economic context of PNG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-185
Number of pages7
JournalActa Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016


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