Toil land for potential food shortage: Agarobe

Central Governor, Robert Agarobe, is calling on people in the Province to toil the land as a global COVID-19 pandemic could spark a food shortage.

He said people in the province need to begin growing their own food and raise livestock for self-sustenance as well as to potentially supply Port Moresby or other centers.

Agarobe made the call in an update on COVID-19 measures undertaken by the Provincial Government.

Governor Agarobe said the current State of Emergency has shown how a crisis lockdown can affect food supply chains to and from the Province.

He said with the current wet weather, locals need to toil the land in anticipation of a shortage of food stocks both processed and local produce.

“Don’t worry too much about store food. Start going back and start working your garden it’s the rainy season now. It’s a good time to start growing. So, for Central Province people we really have no excuse,” said Agarobe.

Since taking office, Governor Agarobe has called for locals to get into small scale gardening as well as going into cottage industries to sustain themselves and earn an income.

“With the Provinces plan on going for the ‘One Crop Electorate Concept’ and the ‘One Farmer Per Crop Concept,’ and with the tourism arrangement, so that everybody push more in the direction of having cottage industries, like everybody having a little chicken yard in the back of your house, having a vegetable garden in the back of your house, looking after dairy goats for fresh milk. Looking after sheep that we want to bring in. These are what we should seriously be looking at. And I’ve been preaching for the last three years. We need to start relying on our traditional food rather than relying on rice and sugar,” said the Governor.
He added the Provincial Government has allocated K2 million from its Budget to purchase vegetables.

“The city is running our of food. Central Province we have to start mobilizing now so that Provincial Government will come back to the communities and start buying vegetables and food from our communities and then supplying into the city. So, all of you better start getting prepared.”

Meanwhile Governor Agarobe said awareness on the COVID-19 has been conducted in all Districts of the Province.

He said the Provincial and District Disaster Emergency Committee has been reinstated to be utilized to manage the State of Emergency down to the District, LLG and Ward Level.

Cedric Patjole