Hilans Fres: How a Local Broccoli Farmer Helps His Community

Editor's note

We saw this post about Pastor Charles and how one local company helps him to find a steady market in Hagen, Port Moresby and the mining towns; and thought it was worth sharing. 

So, we reached out to Hilans Fres on Facebook and with their permission, we are sharing this wonderful story of Pastor Charles with you. Thank you for sharing this story with us Hilans Fres!

A story of hard work, sharing, opportunity and, above all, giving back to the community. 

His success story starts from when he sold a small pig for K300 and with the cash purchased broccoli seeds. 

From never working a formal 8am - 5pm job and instead solely being a subsistent broccoli farmer, he has been able to move from a traditional kunai house into a permanent fully furnished house.

Hagen broccoli market
(Pic: Pastor Charles & family - new house at the back) 

He has also constructed a permanent church for his congregation, see picture below. He has been fortunate to educate his children as well as other children within his community, and pay the brideprice of his own sons and many others within the community.

Hagen Market Hilans Fres
Church built by Pastor Charles

Hilans Fres Agronomical advice and local farmers network

With the agronomical advice from Hilans Fres extension officers who visit farmers across some of highlands regions, Pastor Charles was able to further his broccoli knowledge and is now a lead farmer for Hilans Fres and has been since 2015. 

He has his own broccoli plots which he harvests, but also has 34 faithful out-grower farmers working with him to meet the volume requested by Hilans Fres. 

Hagen market western highlands province
Pastor Charles Broccoli Nursery in Tambul, WHP

Once matured, the harvest is delivered to Hilans Fres Dobel depot in crates and following Hilans Fres’ strict cool chain process makes its way to Tininga Supermarket shelves as well as supermarket shelves in Port Moresby and various mining sites around PNG. 

Pastor Charles helps the community 

Being a lead farmer, Pastor Charles co-ordinates his farmers’ production schedule so that supply is regular and continuous “supply mas go yet!”.  At present, he is supplying 1,500 kilograms twice a week, and even three times a week if there is a demand for broccoli. 

Recognising the enormous opportunity, Pastor Charles has been encouraging his fellow community members to also plant broccoli. 
So much so that he spent K22,000 on broccoli seeds to distribute within his community!

Finding a steady market with Hilans Fres

Before he started selling to the Hilans Fres, he would sell his broccoli at the Mt. Hagen Market. 

Although he admits that some days he was able to get more from selling at the market the income is not consistent or guaranteed. 

Some days he would have to bring the produce back home if there was no sale. Since 2015 with the assistance from HF and his own commitment, he is able to earn a guaranteed consistent income for himself and his farmers.

Pastor Charles’ next dream is to buy his own vehicle so that he no longer has to rely on the two-hour (car hire) trip to get his broccoli to Hilans Fres depot in Mt Hagen.

Story and photo credit: @Hilans Fres

  • This story was originally published on Hilans Fres Facebook page. 
  • Learn about the company's agriculture work with the locals on their website (click here).
  • Below is a Youtube video of the fantastic work they are doing with the local communities. 

No comments: