K15.3m training centre opens

Built at the cost of over K15.3 million, the Tissue Culture Laboratory and Integrated Training Centre in Kainantu, Eastern Highlands will serve more than 30,000 farmers.

Not only will it benefit the hardworking farmers but also impact over 700 village extension officers across 10 provinces.

The Integrated Training Centre and Tissue Lab were officially opened on Tuesday 12th September, 2023 by the Australian High Commissioner, Jon Philp and Fresh Produce Development Agency in Kainantu.

Funded by the Australian Government’s Incentive Fund program, the laboratory will be complemented by a new training facility that will enable the FPDA to increase the reach of its agricultural extension training programs to 8,550 farming households.

FPDA chief executive officer, Mark Worinu thanked the Government of Australia for funding the two infrastructures and assured them that their fund will not be wasted but will accomplish its purposes.

“On behalf of the FPDA board, management and staff, we are grateful and appreciative for what the people of Australia have done for the people of Papua New Guinea; and more importantly to the farmers who will be using the facilities.

“When we started the concept in 2017, we conceptualised and asked the Incentive Fund to fund the project and have granted our request.”

He said FPDA such projects are hard to obtain from government departments but was grateful to the Australian Government for funding the project.

“This new building marks a new beginning for [the] horticulture industry, FPDA and the agriculture sector. On record in PNG, no commodity boards have been able to secure funding from the Incentive funds. FPDA is the only organization that was able to secure these funds,” Mr Worinu said.

Meantime, the people of Kainantu were urged to take ownership of the building and look after the facilities that will serve the farmers in the districts and the country.

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