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Abstract

A participatory action research (PAR) approach was used to address the priority issue of lack of access to credit identified by smallholder farmers in Papua New Guinea. Following the cyclic process of research-planning-action-reflection, the research team conducted a thorough mapping of the supply chains in the first stage of the cycle. The results from the research were then presented to key players along the supply chain at a stakeholder workshop, where priority issues were identified and action plans to address them were developed. Action plans were implemented by the research team in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Outcomes from this stage were then presented and evaluated at a second stake holder workshop. Necessary remedial actions were developed and implemented to address remaining issues, and from here another round of PAR began. The main lesson learned was that PAR, when applied to international agricultural research projects, has the benefit of stakeholders identifying local problems and locally appropriate solutions, but its drawbacks include the lack of capacity and support services on the ground. To improve outcomes, more resources are required to build extension and development capacities on the ground.

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