Government must get back to basics of small scale agriculture

The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce CRO David Conn says the industry supports the National Government endeavor to grow the agriculture sector but no adhoc measures must be applied.

The head of the business community in the nation’s capital was referring to the knee jerk lifting of the ban on imported vegetables after three months.

“Such moves (of banning imported vegetables) are good in the long run to replace imports and we support it,” Conn said. 

He also challenged the government to support the Agriculture and Livestock Department with funding to improve the sector.   

“Government has to give true support to the agriculture sector instead of the lip service we have seen for the last 30 years.

“A total reactivation of the agriculture department is needed but this may be impossible given its record since Independence, maybe this has to be some form of quasi private sector body to get results.

“We need to get back to the old days where didiman (agriculture officers) visited farmers advising them on crop issues, pest issues, introducing new crops (and this could include drought resistant varieties), teaching them good agricultural practices and marketing skills,” Conn added. 

Charles Yapumi