The sector has the potential to improve food security, nutrition and income earning opportunities; create employment; reduce poverty; and enhance socio-economic development.
It is the sector that needs to be targeted with sound policies and strategies and adequate support to improve livelihoods and foster rural development.
Improved access and better linkages between Research-Extension-Farmer through information remains a priority.
This can only eventuate if players in responsible sectors participate in establishing a conducive environment which can allow agricultural development.
The tools and application of ICT offer promising opportunities to facilitate this and overall national development.
Many actors in the sector have taken advantage of these opportunities but cannot progress without favorable guidelines from the telecommunication regulators; and better infrastructure, funding support and skills.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) and the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) in Papua New Guinea, will be organizing a national consultation workshop on 28 July 2016 in Port Moresby, to initiate the development of a national E-agriculture strategy for Papua New Guinea.
The PNG E-Agriculture strategy for Papua New Guinea is expected to help guide stakeholders in capturing and better utilizing the vast Information Communication Technology (ICT) opportunities in Papua New Guinea to promote agricultural and rural development.
Following a 3 days brainstorming session of agricultural agencies, a wider stakeholder consultation meeting is being organized on 28 July 2016, with participation of government agencies from various sectors (information and communication technology, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, statistics, meteorology, disaster management, etc), together with representatives of telecom operators, banks, and insurance companies.
The policy process for developing a PNG national e-agriculture or ICT for rural development strategies will be discussed at the meeting.