Archive for the ‘People’s Economy’ Category

By Malum Nalu (The National, September, 13 2012)

 

The energy and enthusiasm of young couple Max Puritau and his wife Stefi Temelloso at the PNG Made Expo at the PNG Advantage investment conference at the Gateway Hotel earlier this week won the admiration of many visitors to their booth.

Puritau – at the ripe old age of 25 – has taken over running the family company, Paradise Spices, from his father, Micky, and now exports PNG vanilla, chilli, pepper, galip nut, cardamom, tumeric, nutmeg, cocoa nibs, ginger, cinnamon, virgin coconut oil, and pure vanilla extract to many countries around the world. Paradise Spices also produces its own brand of bottled water – Life — which is sold in major supermarkets in PNG.

The company buys raw material from provinces around the country — from chilli and cardamom in Chimbu, galip nuts in Milne Bay, to vanilla in Western, which it processes at its factory in Gordon for export and domestic supply.

“In April this year, I bought off the business from dad,” Puritau, who was groomed by his father in the business, says. “I own 50% of the company now. My mum owns the other 50%. So, basically, I’m the sole working director now. I’m currently working with my wife, Steffi Temelloso, who is also the operations manager and the sales and marketing manager.”

The history of Paradise Spices goes back some 20 years ago in the Puritau’s village in Lalaura, Abau, Central, when founder Micky Puritau ventured into mango farming. “We started in mango farming and exported to Taiwan,” the younger Puritau said. “That all started from Lalaura in the Abau district of Central. “That was until there was a court case with the village people. They actually took him to court but he won the court case and got the land that was argued about.

“About 2ha of that land is now used for vanilla growing. We get our vanilla supplies from there when we are short. It produces about 500kg of vanilla beans every six months.”

Puritau says he is adding a completely new approach to the company with his youth and enthusiasm. “The basic idea of the whole business now is to try and create new products using PNG-grown crops. Currently, we are buying and selling vanilla beans, bird’s eye chilli, galip nuts, white pepper, cardamom, turmeric, nutmeg, cocoa nibs, ginger, cinnamon, and virgin coconut oil. We also have a new range of purified water in 500ml bottles and the vanilla extract.” Paradise Spices’ plant is at Varahe Street in Gordon.

“This is for the vanilla extract market overseas,” Puritau explains. “What we’ve done is we’ve brought the overseas market into PNG. So, in this case, PNG can manufacture and produce vanilla extract for the world out there.

“The whole range of products are brought locally and manufactured and processed here in Gordon. So, if you see our Paradise Spices packet out there, you might at first think that it’s from overseas, but it’s made here in PNG.

“We export to New Zealand, Australia, USA, Taiwan, Japan, and other smaller areas as well. The market now is 80% export and 20% local retail. There’s a buyer in Australia who wants three tonnes of chilli a month. However, it’s unfortunate that we can’t meet this demand.”

Puritau says the bottled water was first produced in 2009 and is now sold to Tabubil and various shops and supermarkets around Port Moresby. “It’s only in its second year of production,” he says. “The water is purified and produced at our factory in Gordon. We currently sell only in 500ml bottles and will introduce a one-litre bottle as soon as the demand increases.”

Puritau is proud of what he is doing to help village people of PNG. However, he urges the government to step in by way of improved infrastructure. “What I’m doing is I’m helping the village people,” he says. “I have ‘Made in PNG’ on our packaging.

“I’d like to see better infrastructure. Our problem is lack of supply because of lack of logistics such as infrastructure: meaning, villagers live in innermost areas and can’t bring their produce to market. They produce heaps and heaps, enough for us to fill containers and supply the world, however, they can’t bring their produce to market. For example, seven out of 10 chilli farmers can’t bring their produce out to market because of bad roads, no access to vehicles, infrastructure.

“I’d also like to see export rebate and assistance from the government to our company.”

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“Maru appears to recognise that the productivity on rural people on their own land is the most important driver of development in PNG.”

AS THE election dust clears, there are signs some leaders are putting their minds to supporting PNG’s most productive sector: its people.

The new Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru plans to revitalise the Co-operative Societies Unit by slashing millions of kina of waste and corruption.

Maru said these funds should be being used to enable rural communities to generate income for themselves and the national economy.

In a full page press release in The National (30/08), the Minister made no bones about his plans to “downsize” the “heavily bloated bureaucratic structure within the CSU” and said millions of kina directed to fraud and non-CSU operations – including to a casino and an Australian bank – would be investigated under his watch.

“Co-operative  societies are the vehicles for rural people to be involved in establishing and operating small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). If the societies are functioning properly with the support that is given to them, they would play a significant role in addressing issues such as poverty, education, law and order etc, as well as contribute to wealth creation,” Maru said.

As the former head of the National Development Bank, Maru appears to recognise that the productivity on rural people on their own land is the most important driver of development in PNG.

Other Governments are also making gestures reflecting this. According to the Post-Courier (30/08), some governments including New Ireland and Milne Bay are using their funds to support farmers to continue providing for the nation in hard times.

Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather has called on new Madang Governor Jim Kas to follow the example of New Ireland and Milne Bay’s leaders and subsidise copra and cocoa farmers in that province, as the world market price for these commodities has dropped drastically in recent times.

Fairweather believes the future of PNG lies in our existing strengths – our rural industries – not in big-ticket development projects that have little benefits to the nation’s citizens. Thus the MP is also challenging the exploitative and destructive Ramu Nickel and proposed PMIZ projects in Madang province.

Meanwhile, Boka Kondra, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, has also criticised the Government’s unjustified love affair with neocolonial business such as mining and logging, describing it as an “unsustainable” model of development.

Kondra said in the long term, maintaining  our ways was more likely to bring about development than extractive industries.

He said PNG must strive to protect and preserve its cultural heritage and make it attractive in ways that would make the tourism industry feed and grow on it.

“Most of our natural resources are finite and will one day disappear, but I believe that if we sustain our culture and tourism, that can and will continue to sustain us in the future,” Kondra said.

By John Simoi

 

I think the most important thing is for people to come together and see the real needs in their community, and ask what they can do to change the way they’re living. If there are problems or hardships in their community, to ask what are the best ways that they can address those kinds of problems.

In Papua New Guinea, our land is our life. In everything, we must do it in an environmentally friendly way. We have to think about our future generations – how can we conserve our resources, not exploit everything and leave our future generations to suffer. So that kind of mentality you must have when you’re looking at ways to improve yourself.

A person himself can’t do something: but if several people can mobilise, together they can bring the changes. If they want changes to come into their community, they have to work together.

Some people may be afraid to speak out because their English is no good, or because they think someone will laugh at their idea. Don’t ever stop yourself from saying something – your thinking might be the thought that changes your community.

And other people are just sitting down and waiting for others to come and show them. But when you sit down and wait for others to show you, you will never get anywhere. You have to get on your two feet, you have to go find your friend and discuss the idea with him. Then if you see that he has already thought like you, then you go to another person. And then you go to another person and another and eventually, the group will form. And that’s how you will move. And if you don’t move, then nothing will happen.

People should have this thought in mind, like what Abraham Lincoln said: “It is not what the country can do for you, but what you can for your country.’ And in a smaller way, whether it is in a village or in a very remote area, it’s what you do in your particular area that you can make an impact. And you don’t worry about the government, you don’t worry about anybody – you just go ahead and do it.

So you start with one or two people sitting down talking, then three or four people sitting down talking, and then your group will start mobilising. And as you are moving, you are learning. If you can rise up and do something, definitely you will learn something. You will become wiser, and learn how to protect your environment, your resources, your future generations.

Some Papua New Guineans say, “it’s the money we don’t have that prevents us from doing it”. It’s not the money! We Papua New Guineans are so fortunate that we own the land and we own the resources. And all these things, they are money. We already have money here. The betel nut is money, the coconut is money, the fish is money. You see? The banana is money. The pawpaw is money. Even a single tree is money.

It’s just a matter of us rising up, putting the betel nut together, selling it, getting the money and using it. This is the way to start. It is not the money that will come and make us start, no. It is us.  First believe in yourself, then utiliise your resources to begin changing your community. There’s no other way forward. We have everything here, we can do it. Nobody’s stopping us. We have to think positive, we have to believe in ourselves and we have to believe in our future, and protect our future.

You have to stand up and speak for your rights. And you know, when you speak for your rights, you are not talking for yourself only; it is the rights of your children and the right of your children’s children.

 

 

Via The National, August 15, 2012

By Pisai Gumar

 

SMALL scale agricultural activities remain the cornerstone of the livelihood of rural people but not enough is being done to improve the capability to produce quality crops and increase production, a farmer says.
Poro Co-operative Society chairman Solomon Dumuk said provincial, district and local council agricultural agencies lacked proper mechanisms to realign their programmes with local cash crop growers.
Dumuk, from Bang village, Astrolabe Bay, Madang, said the lack of technical know-how to help farmers improve and increase production had been the main problem over the years.
“The issue is manifold involving agricultural agencies, political will of local MPs to lead and drive the improvement of rural economy through transportation projects by enhancing provincial works division to improve roads, bridges and wharves,” he said.
Dumuk voiced concern after 136 cocoa growers contributed K125 each to start a cocoa export company after receiving no help from local MP, James Gau.
He said most of the cocoa, copra, coffee and tea were accessed by provincial roads.
But, he said, neither the provincial nor local level governments seemed to be taking care of maintenance of the roads and bridges. Cooperative secretary Nason Tu-um said they had the land and the crops.
“But how can we turn them into money is an issue.
“Importantly, we need agricultural technical knowledge and skills to enrich growers on ways of how to nurture and produce quality crops while government has to improve roads, bridges and wharves for us to move the products,” Tu-um said.

Via Island Sun (Solomon Islands)

“We (Ma’asina) are trying to find solutions whereby we can specifically help the people of Malaita. This is because the contributions that have been done by Malaitans in the past, it was the whole nation that benefited from them.”

*

THE MALAITA Ma’asina Forum (MMF) is considering the establishment of a commercial bank for Malaita people. This followed a number of issues, which MMF feels the national and provincial governments have utterly overlooked in terms of development in the province.

Speaking during a press conference yesterday, newly elected president of MMF Charles Dausabea explained the proposal had arisen because the Solomons’ development path was not working for the Malaitan people.

“Therefore, as sons of the Malaitans, we (Ma’asina) are trying to find solutions whereby we can specifically help the people of Malaita. This is because the contributions that have been done by Malaitans in the past, it was the whole nation that benefited from them.”

He claimed that Malaitans’ share of the economy is imbalanced nowadays, despite the contributions and wisdoms of their fathers.

“The executive has finally agreed to set up a Malaita bank for Malaita people,” Dausabea said in May. “We have made a new decision that we will be more focused on the development approach including the well-being of the Malaita people.”

He added that this idea was to give Malaitans the opportunities to access finance and for them to be involved in the domestic economy of Malaita. Malaita people in rural areas would be able to access finance.

“In this way, the people of Malaita can experience the benefits of their direct contribution towards our local economy which will in turn have a huge impact on the national economy.”

However, before the intention could be made a reality, the technical committee appointed will be engaged to carry out a feasibility study and run awareness to the people in Malaita regarding the initiative.

Speaking on behalf of the appointed research team for the project, Martin Housanau said in order to have a strong national and Malaitan economy, “we must have our own financial institution.” Housanau added that it is also through the involvement of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that the country will be able to have a strong economy, but that currently there was a lack of finance for SMEs.

Housanau said establishing a Malaitan financial institution would allow all economic development projects in Malaita including Auluta, Bina Harbor and Waisisi to be funded.

“Not only will it be able to fund the big projects which Ma’asina claimed not have seen any tangible progress in, it can also help those Small Medium Enterprises in Malaita which can directly contribute towards their domestic economy,” Housanau said.

The Technical Committee team leader also said the initative would increase employment opportunities.

Housanau said the proposal would not progress unless there were positive outcomes from dialogues between the Forum’s executive with the relevant authorities and the people of Malaita.

Meanwhile, MMF President Dausabea acknowledged and thanked the forefathers of the Malaitan people whose “contribution towards the development of Solomon Islands are the pillars the country is standing on, even today”.

By Serafina Qalo, The Fiji Times

ROKO Tui Cakaudrove Ro Aca Mataitini believes a healthy lifestyle lasts a lifetime. And with the introduction of the Cakau Green program, his team is set to promote healthy living in the province.

The program, which requires the villagers to be vegetarians for one week out of every month, is expected to begin this year.

“Some villagers have already started following the program which is aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle amongst our people,” Ro Aca said. “I believe fruit and vegetables which can be planted in our own backyard are enough to supply our healthy menu.”  

Ro Aca’s favourite shopping centre is the market. “Whenever I go to town on Saturdays to do shopping, I always visit the market for fresh fruits and vegetables. I prefer the market for fruits and vegies so I hardly ever go to the supermarket to get them. And he often eats fruits for dinner. “If I don’t have any fruits at home then I turn to boiled vegetables and I am just enjoying a cheap yet very healthy meal.”

Now he’s taking his own diet out to the villages to promote the importance of healthy living. “Our health depends on the choices of food we eat so choosing wisely when it comes to preparing menus for our families’ matter,” Ro Aca said. “So this program is to help our people in the province eat healthy, live healthy and live a longer life.

“The Cakau Green program only involves vegetables and fruits. There is no inclusion of meat in it and that is any type of meat.”

Preventable diseases, diabetes and obesity are some of the health issues growing in the Pacific as we abandon our traditional – incredibly healthy – diets for unhealthy store food and fast food. “Non-Communicable Diseases have been a major cause of death in the country and claiming lives at a very young age.” Ro Aca said.

Apart from the healthy vitamins and nutrients that fruits and vegetables provide, Ro Aca has certainly saved money from keeping a vegetarian diet for a week every month. He spends less than $50 a week on groceries. In addition, eating fresh fruits and vegetables saves time used for cooking, and adds energy to your day. “The vegetables and fruits are not only healthy but lighter compared to meat. So with this, I am able to do my work and even do extra work in the day because I don’t feel sleepy or too heavy to move around from a big meal.”

The Cahau Green program has so far been promoted in villages on Taveuni, with visits to Vuna, Lavena, Naselesele, Qamea and Somosomo. The healthy lifestyle awareness program was also be taken to the districts of Natewa and Tunuloa. Ro Aca said villagers welcomed the idea of voluntarily having a vegetable diet once a month.

“We are promoting healthy living for our people and we will continue to work with district reps and village headmen to promote the healthy living program,” he said. “We are not forcing anyone, we just hope that people realise the importance of living a healthy lifestyle as it is for their own benefit.”

By Catherine Wilson

Part Two

Painting by PNG artist Jeffrey Feeger (photo by Claire Kouro)

 

In 2011 the National Informal Economy Policy was launched to promote “the informal economy as the ‘grassroots expression’ of the private sector and a partner in the formal economic system of Papua New Guinea.”

The policy advocates growth of, and greater civil participation in, the informal economy, regardless of gender, urban or rural location, and ultimately socio-economic inclusion for all involved.

Strategies to empower workers include an enabling regulatory environment, financial inclusion through microfinance and provision of improved infrastructure, facilities, education and training, social protection and political representation. Thus, it is hoped to link “the economies of rural and urban areas and to reduce inter-regional, as well as inter-personal, income inequalities.”

At Gordons Market, where there is currently no power, public water supply, inadequate sanitation and refuse management, vendors would like to see changes.

“I would like to see improvements, especially more benches for vendors and power supply,” said Miriam, from Babiko village, who works at the market with her mother and two sisters.

“We would also like to see good services for road transport, as sometimes when public transport is not available, we are not able to get to market in time to sell enough.”

The size and resilience of the our agricultural economy is testament to the initiative and creativity of people and communities at the grassroots, but putting in place promised state reforms is vital to its development and long term future.

“The informal economy in the agricultural sector is a booming industry,” Maria Linibi, president of PNG Women in Agriculture Development Foundation, claims.

“Women in PNG are entrepreneurs and make do with what resources they have, such as markets, transport, even if it means walking long distances with heavy loads on their backs to the nearest available means to earn some cash,” Linibi said.

“But there is,” she added, “no proper marketing infrastructure and other facilities in place to facilitate and support the informal sector to boost and sustain its effectiveness.”

Market vendor, Nikil, took pride in saying: “We do everything ourselves.”

NRI’s Nalau Bingeding said that substantial PNG-based agricultural research and its effective application, addressing restricted and expensive transport options and developing appropriate technology to prolong the life of perishables, would bring prosperity to smallholders and food gardeners.

By Catherine Wilson

Part One

Although Papua New Guinea is known as a resource-rich country, 85 per cent of the population depends on the informal economy for a living.

Photo: Women at Gordons market (Catherine Wilson/IPS)

The need for a grassroots-led economic enterprise to create equitable and sustainable development is nationally recognised, but awaits better governance, infrastructure and facilities.

Meanwhile, the majority of PNG’s population of 7 million people practice subsistence agriculture in rural communities, many in locations remote from road and transport networks and public service delivery.

More than half of all income sources, including fresh food production, are part of the ‘informal’ economy. It is therefore the People’s Economy – OUR economy.

Agriculture-based entrepreneurship is not confined to the rural provinces. In the capital, Port Moresby, fresh produce markets are growing, supplied by an expanding network of small farms and food gardens in the city’s outer suburbs and villages within commuting distance.

Bire Nikil moved to Port Moresby from Chimbu Province in the highlands to start a food garden several years ago. At Gordons Market, he is surrounded by five of his relatives who assist him with growing and selling kaukau (sweet potato), bananas, aibika (Pacific cabbage), pineapples, peanuts, watermelon, mangoes and coconuts, all transported in by public minibus.

Nikil’s weekly income of K300 supports 20-25 people, including relatives in Chimbu province.

For many market vendors, who are also growers, this is their only source of income and open markets their main outlets.

Ruth Williepore supports herself and her four-month-old daughter by selling freshly grown food at the market every day. She lives on the city’s northern outskirts, where cultivation of fresh produce is collectively organised with families given specific crops to grow and produce taken to market by public transport.

“If we sell 100 bags (of food) per day,” Williepore said, “we earn K2000-3000 which pays for food, water, household items, school fees, clothes and power bills.”

“More people are buying and more people are selling,” Williepore added, surrounded by several hundred fellow traders and an abundance of fruit and vegetables piled on wooden benches, in plastic tubs and on every spare bit of ground.

The ‘2008 Feeding Port Moresby’ study, by PNG’s Fresh Produce Development Agency, revealed that the total supply of fresh food to the city each year is around 57,780 tonnes, with an overwhelming 50,350 tonnes sourced from local urban production and 7,430 tonnes from other provinces and international imports.

Agriculture accounts for 32.2% of PNG’s gross domestic product (GDP), while industry contributes 35.7%. But revenue from the minerals and resources industry, which has contributed to rising national growth over the last half decade, has failed to generate economic benefits or public services for most people.

Nalau Bingeding, Research Fellow at the National Research Institute, claims that the biggest obstacles to the resource boom transforming the pace of development are “corruption in politics and the public service, and a weak public service mechanism”. While their economy is crippled by corruption, our economy has expanded.

Globally, the ‘people’s economy’ accounts for 60% of employment in so-called developing countries. These self-employed traders possess business acumen, creativity and innovation that can be further tapped for further economic growth if conditions of vulnerability and marginalisation are removed.

*Part Two to follow on Monday, July 2.

BOUGAINVILLE Copper Ltd (BCL) said in early May the people of Bougainville’s future depended on the reopening of the Panguna mine. At BCL’s annual general meeting in Port Moresby last month, chairman Peter Taylor said:

“There is widespread agreement today that Bougainville’s economic future needs mining if it is to be able to fund services for the people from its own resources, as well as address future opportunities for economic and social development.”

But Bougainvilleans do have a choice for their economic future not solely based on mining. We know this because, during the war, Bougainvilleans found they were very capable of supporting themselves outside of mining: outside the cash economy altogether.

The wonderful book, As Mothers of the Land[1] – detailing the incredible and decisive role played by women throughout the war and subsequent peace process – provides an overview of this successful adaptation to self-sufficiency during the blockade.

Josephine Tankunani Sirivi, for example, describes how people returned to traditional gardening knowledge and the barter system. “Now we no longer had cash, paid work or any access to processed food, yet we were able to produce enough to feed our people and to share with others,” she says.

Rather than society succumbing to anarchy and starvation, “it was a time of sharing and caring wholeheartedly for one another.”

It was also a time of innovation: learning how to use coconut oil for cars and power; designing hydro-electric power from mountain streams; setting up a short-wave radio station (Radio Free Bougainville); producing rice, oil and soap; using cocoa to produce bleach; and re-learning the use of various herbs and vines, tree bark, roots and leaves for medicine.

Perhaps most impressively, these (primarily women-led) initiatives created an outstanding health and education infrastructure entirely through community organisation and without wages, let alone millions of dollars of foreign aid. Marilyn Taleo Havini describes this revolution:

“Women’s groups began by forming family, church and non-denominational fellowships to feed orphans and widows, to teach, nurse, pass on recipes, seeds and agrarian skills such as permaculture, and to conduct technical and secretarial training.

“By 1996, several of these community initiatives had come together under (the) name Bougainville Community Based Integrated Humanitarian Program (BOCBIHP). Behind the blockade, by the time the peace process began in 1997, they had established 12 health centre bases that supplied 23 aid posts and 47 village health clinics. The nursing school in the jungle graduated trainees and health workers including 36 village midwives, 36 village aides and 23 aid post orderlies.

“BOCBIHP fielded 80 qualified schoolteachers and 113 volunteer grade-10 graduates as their assistants. They opened 71 community schools with an overall enrollment of 4,726 pupils. They also opened a secretarial school and a bible college.”

Sirivi sees the self-sufficiency movement as having enabled many people to survive the war. In addition, “new communal respect for traditional knowledge and jungle skills added to the pride of being Bougainvillean.”

If these outcomes were possible under the extreme conditions of the war, what amazing efforts could be achieved today, in a time of peace?

Mining has left a deep stain on Bougainville, and mining alone won’t remove it. Regardless of whether Panguna is reopened or not, Bougainvilleans can benefit – like all Papua New Guineans, and all Pacific Islanders – by organising themselves to control their own communities, as described above.

Not being reliant on mining, these communities can survive and thrive when they control their own development.

*

Watch a movie about the Bougainville ‘eco-revolution’ during the crisis, ‘The Coconut Revolution’, here.


[1] Tankunani Sirivi, J. and Taleo Havini, M. (eds.)2004, …As Mothers of the Land: The Birth of the Bougainville Women for Peace and Freedom. Canberra: Pandanus Books

By Dirk Jena

Image

Women showcase their handicraft. Dirk Jena suggests an economic system which places people at the centre and thereby protects their natural talents and resources. Picture: SUPPLIED/UNFPA

IN November last year, the Pacific Institute of Public Policy chairperson Nik Soni wrote, “We need economic policies that are tailored to our individual needs” in a paper where he argued that blanket application of modern economics cannot work for our ocean of islands.

This view is increasingly popular after four decades of attempting to move our island nations beyond the “developing” stages. Most of our islands are now punctuated with some of the main causes of chronic breakdowns of our global megalopolis: reckless urbanisation, mass production, heavy capital investments (destroying irreplaceable natural resources), centralised planning (usually devoid of resource owners’ concerns), increasing household debts etc.

Centralised decision-making and development planning contribute to the fragmentation of traditional structures and social capital which, without an alternative economic system to support its organic operations, collapses and forces villagers, hopelessly dependent on the market economy, to abandon their homes to seek new beginnings and livelihoods.

The renowned economist Ernst Schumacher predicted these impacts by modern economics. He supported smaller enterprises which utilised people’s talents while they provided for their families, on a scale that allowed for the recovery of natural resources being used.

Humanity has always worked better in groupings, which is why such age-old ways as practised in iTaukei villages for example, could realistically be used for development planning and implementation. Such understandings complement very well concepts like the Integrated Household Resource Management (IRHM) which already espouses shared responsibility for the benefit of all.

If this approach was then to be supported by an appropriate economics, the reporting slate of development effectiveness in our region could be very different.

For example, if we were to treat handicrafts as capital as opposed to merely an income then weavers would be more protective of the natural material they use, more efforts would presumably be made to protect indigenous knowledge of these practices and the mother-tongue would be appropriately (re)valued as vessels of such knowledge.

However, the dependency caused by the wisdom of contemporary economics is threatening such indigenous knowledge and skills which could be easily dismissed without an honest attempt at trying it as an alternative development approach: all for the ‘privilege’ of being part of the global economy.

Schumacher’s economics of ‘small is beautiful’ places people at the centre of economics and thus development, as opposed to treating them as statistics.

He was not alone: Gandhi preached the empowerment of village-based artisans which would ensure a solid foundation that would then support national development. He believed the poor could not be helped by mass production but by the production of the masses.

“Why care for people?” Schumacher asked. “Because people are the primary and ultimate source of any wealth whatsoever. If they are left out, if they are pushed around by self-styled experts and high-handed planners, then nothing can ever yield real fruit.”

* Dirk Jena is the director and representative of the United Nations Population Fund Pacific sub-regional office.