MDF is one of Australia’s flagship private sector development programmes. It stimulates investment, business innovation and regulatory reform to create additional jobs and increase income for poor women and men in rural and urban areas in the Indo-Pacific region.


Aglime and Acid: Regenerating Fiji's soil fertility
Aglime has been produced in Fiji since 2013 but issues remain in marketing and distribution and changing the mindset of farmers about the benefits of its use. MDF has facilitated distribution agreements between Standard Concrete Industries, the Fiji Sugar Corporation and three leading distributors covering the major agricultural zones in Fiji. In this video see how MDF has worked with its partners to market, distribute and educate farmers on the practical uses of aglime. See the full video here.


WEE Series #4: The “invisible” women of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a predominantly patriarchal society with high levels of gender based violence and there is little representation of women in the judiciary or policy making areas or the formal economy. But what is life like for women? And what is really happening in PNG households? Through MDF’s poverty and gender study we’ve got to the heart of the dynamics of PNG households and capturing what everyday life is like for the “invisible” women of Papua New Guinea. Read the full story here.

WEE Series #5: Pakistan – empowering women one partnership and region at a time
Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) is an important priority for development programmes around the globe and is a core focus area of MDF’s partnerships. Magnus Kahl Seeds’ (MKS) partnership with MDF in Chitral, has enabled it to add new farmers to its suppliers, to increase the quantity and quality of onion seeds and bulbs produced in the area. MDF partnered with MKS because of its potential for pro-poor growth and ability to impact the lives of farmers, particularly women, in Chitral. Read the full story here.


And the Mountains Echoed:
A journey into Chitral – the backbone of onion seed production in Pakistan
MDF is working in the remote Chitral district in Pakistans North to improve access to high quality onion seeds and bulbs. Not only does this increase farmers income, but also enables women in the area to move into commercial farming practices. Take a look at this snapshot of the beautiful Chitral district and MDF’s work in the region here.



Giant fresh-water prawns transforming a small village in Sri Lanka’s North
Meet Mrs Poonithawathy from Kalmadu, Sri Lanka. She collects giant fresh-water prawns from reservoirs stocked by Divron Bioventures, an MDF Sri Lanka partner. Using her earnings, she’s recently started improving her home, while also supporting her two unmarried children. Read the story of how the MDF partnership is changing things in her community here.


MDF launches business incubator for SME’s
MDF has developed a pilot business incubation system to provide a more effective way of supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through an outcome and deliverable oriented system.
The MDF Fiji Enterprise Engine (MDF FEE) will enable businesses to focus on growing their business, developing business skills and internal processes, to work towards a sustainable and scalable business models and practices that improves their chances of success. Read full story here.


Connecting remote fishing regions with high value markets in Papua New Guinea
Through this insightful field diary we are transported to the remote Baimaru region of Gulf province where the MDF PNG team and partner, Luxemburg Investments undertook community awareness and field assessments for the expansion of their distribution business. MDF’s partnership with Luxembourg Investments facilitates the development of a supply model of sourcing local products and supplying them to high value markets. Read the full story here.
MDF, ANZ, CCI-TL & IADE partner to upskill SMEs in Timor-Leste
To promote growth in the small business sector, MDF together with ANZ, the Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the Institute of Business Development Support, have partnered to deliver financial literacy training. The ANZ run programme, MoneyMinded Business Basics to small and micro-enterprises (SMEs) will help small businesses across Timor-Leste to create financial plans to gain better access to credit. The programme recognises the important link between the success of small businesses and the economic welfare of the community. Read the full story here
The sweet taste of the Highlands for Australian Minister
In the heart of highlands honey producing territory in Papua New Guinea, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, visited MDF PNG partner New Guinea Fruits. During her trip she saw the honey making process from hive to jar, met with local beekeepers, and got to taste the sweet flavour of locally produced honey. Read the full story here.
Festival creates a *caffeine buzz* around Timor-Leste’s specialty coffee
Timor-Leste’s specialty coffee farmers have been publically recognised at the inaugural coffee festival, Festival Kafe Timor, making local and international news. The growth of the specialty coffee market in the country is in part due to MDF’s partner and industry leader Café Brisa Serena’s efforts to improve quality, working closely with farmers since 2003. Read the full story here.
Steaming attraction adds value to ‘Simply Sabeto’ destination
Tifajek Mud Pool and Hot Spring has launched a new thermal pool that will enable them to cater to more cruise tourists. The pool was officially opened by Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Margaret Twomey in December last year. Read the full story here.
MDF and Telenor Pakistan partner to benefit small farmers in remote locations
Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Margaret Adamson witnessed the signing of a partnership between MDF and Telenor Pakistan, one of the countries largest telco’s, to design innovative communications products for smallscale farmers based in remote locations in Pakistan. See the full story here.


Shop for island dolls opens in Dili, Timor-Leste
One of Timor-Leste’s most successful women’s cooperatives and MDF partner, Boneca de Atauro (dolls of Atauro), has opened a shop for its popular dolls and handicrafts in Dili. Boneca de Atauro is the largest women’s cooperative on the island of Atauro with 52 female members. The shop is the first time the cooperative has had a retail presence of its own outside of Atauro. Building on its success and with MDF assistance, the cooperative plans to run skill development programs in product design, graphic design, textile design and business management, in addition to sales and marketing. See the journey­ in images from construction to the shop opening, here.  


The Tifajek Mud Pool and Hot Spring thermal pool launch received great attention in the media that captured the excitement at Sabeto. The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation TV and Fiji One news crews filmed the essence of the community and the pride they have in their tourist attraction. The Fiji Sun and Fiji Times also ran articles on ‘Destination Sabeto’s’ newest attraction with an added blog by travel blogger and writer ‘Where is Shyamni’ that encourages tourists to try something a little different on their long lay overs in Fiji. 

MDF stimulates investment, business innovation and regulatory reform to create additional jobs and increase income for poor women and men in rural and urban areas in the Indo-Pacific region.

MDF is supported by the Australian Government and managed by Cardno.

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Market Development Facility · Fiji · Timor-Leste, Pakistan Sri Lanka · Papua New Guinea

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