FPDA partners with Maprik district

The Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) was in Maprik, East Sepik Province for the first time to trial out fresh produce production, training and skills transfer through their vibrant extension services.

General Manager Mark Worinu and his technical team were in the district at the invitation of Maprik MP and Minister for Agriculture and Livestock John Simon on the weekend.

Speaking to a huge crowd at Sologun village of Yamil Tamawi LLG, Mr Worinu said FPDA was happy to be a long-term partner with East Sepik province to provide training and expertise on the indigenous and introduced crops for commercial production.

The occasion was to officiate the launching of a 23-kilometre ring road linking Chologun, Mendiomin Naglipaim and back into Maprik town of which six-kilometre has already been covered.

After the road is built, people will have easy access to transport their produce to the markets.

East Sepik is known for cocoa, coffee and vanilla as their major source of income but FPDA would be providing added value to what is already there, he said.

Mr Worinu brough his technical team with seedings of over 20 crops including potato which is mainly grown in the highlands.

Two potato varieties of E2 for lowland and Sequoia of higher altitudes with other vegetables will be trialled there starting next week.

He said the technical team will be back next week with farm inputs and set up a nursery and start working adding if the crop picks up, they will remain there to roll it out.

Apart from potato, He said FPDA would also buy 10,000 citrus plantings to trail out in Maprik in the coming weeks.

“We want to be there physically to deliver the national government’s food security policy and income generation for our rural masses,” he said.

He said FPDA was a national government agency and therefore, it was only fair that it reaches out to all parts of the country.

Mr Worinu also commanded the Minister and Maprik MP for giving priorities to road before rolling our agriculture extension services.

“Road is the key to service delivery. Lack of road accessibility has held back a lot of potential in agriculture and your initiative to connect the missing link economic corridors will bring huge results to your district,” he said.

Minister John Simon has welcomed the presence of FPDA and other commodity boards including Livestock Development Corporation, NARI, Cocoa Board, CIC and Agriculture Department for visiting his electorate.

Mr Simon said as a famer himself, he wanted to see things practically happening in the agriculture sector.

“We should change our bad attitude and open doors for developers and partners to come into Sepik and do business with us.

"There is huge potential here but if people have attitude problems, we cannot progress in this industry,” he said.

He said after this ring road connects to Maprik town, the entire district would be accessible by road and following that everyone should be able to farm their land to earn a better living.

Freddy Mou