FPDA expands to Alotau district

Alotau district in Milne Bay Province is seriously looking at investing in agriculture to improve the lives of its people.

District Administrator Lindsay Alesana made these remarks at the Naura Model Farm, outside Alotau town, on Wednesday.

During the launching of three model farms initiated by Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) in Alotau, Alesana announced that Alotau district will sign a memorandum of understanding with FPDA so they can work in partnership to assist local farmers in the food and horticulture industry.

He said the district wants to capture the work of FPDA in its Five-Year Development Plan, so as partners they can roll it out to the rural farmers.

Provincial Administrator Michael Kape has also assured FPDA and the people of Milne Bay that the provincial administration is ready to work with FPDA and also encouraged the people to embrace the work they have done so far in the province.

He said the Milne Bay Provincial Government has allocated K5 million for agriculture development in the province and farmers who are working with FPDA will be considered for assistance as well.

Kape stressed that the people of Milne Bay have been practicing agriculture everyday through cocoa, coffee and coconut but since these crops have been neglected, there was now an opportunity for the people to look into the food and horticulture industry through FPDA.

Meantime, FPDA general manager Mark Worinu said the soil in Milne Bay was rich for growing all types of vegetables that are normally thought to have grown mainly in the highlands.

He said agriculture was the National Government’s priority in the Alotau Accord and Milne Bay Province should be the first to capture this very important government agenda.

“We want to set the platform through the launching of the model farms and opt to remain in Milne Bay for the long haul,” Worinu said.

He added that FPDA was now focused on spreading its services to other parts of the country and Milne Bay would be their launching pad.

“We are here to help our people and so we need the support from the Milne Bay Provincial Government to move forward.”

FPDA has launched three model farms they have initiated early this year at Bubuletta, Laviam and Naura in the Alotau district.

FPDA is determined to reach the outer islands once it sets its foundations well in Alotau.

Freddy Mou