Agriculture Transformational, Says PM

He said this when opening the landmark icon of the people of West New Britain, last week, which was funded by money from the province’s lucrative oil palm industry.

The Department of Justice and Attorney-General and all its agencies will be taking up space in all 12 floors.

Prime Minister Marape said the West New Britain story should be an inspiration for every individual and provincial government in the country, and was in line with Pangu Pati’s vision of economic independence for PNG.

Farmers given mini wet mills

The mills will assist them to efficiently process their coffee.

Agriculture and Livestock Minister John Simon officiated at this launching at the Nondugl

Council Chamber grounds recently.

The groups include Waka, Numkussy, Opka, Kumbal Kopong and Konum coffee cooperatives.

Minister Simon told the gathering at Nondugl that they did not need an educated person to go and tell them to attend to their coffee gardens, but that the knowledge and skills on how to till the land was already with them.

Province eyes ‘one crop per electorate’ concept

This approach is being led by Governor Robert Agarobe to mobilise their land from a subsistence lifestyle into a more commercialised one.

“At the moment, we are all subsistence farmers, we grow a bit of this and a bit of that. To secure the market and push production, it becomes a problem, so by going down that path by one crop electorate and one farmer concept, we can then commercialise,” said Governor Agarobe.

Can PNG realise its ambitious agricultural goals?

One of these, inaugurated by the EU in late August 2019, is a PGK340m ($99.6m) pilot program designed to benefit smallholder farms.

This deal comes after the launch of the EU’s Enterprise Development Fund earlier in 2019, which will provide funding for small-scale vanilla and cocoa farmers in the provinces of East Sepik and Sandaun in the north-west.

Agriculture will feed PNG: PM

“And agriculture will generate income for the family and the nation,” said Prime Minister James Marape during the October 4th South Pacific Institute of Sustainable Agriculture Conference, which was held at the University of Technology in Lae.

“The greatest individual, country and global need is not oil, gas, gold, iron, timber, etc but food and oxygen. We have both here in abundance in PNG.

Three Agriculture vice ministers to be appointed

The announcement is expected this week.

Prime Minister Marape says one vice minister will be responsible for coffee and intervention in coffee, another will be responsible for copra, cocoa and palm oil while a third will oversee the livestock sector.

“I think we’ve given so much lip service to the agriculture space; that is the lowest hanging fruit in as far as giving back to our country and empowering our citizens,” said the PM.

Opposition disagrees with ‘economic backbone’ statement

At the recent PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment conference in Sydney, there were claims that mining was the backbone of the PNG economy. However, I must disagree with the way we present our economy to the outside world, including international investors.

“For there is no doubt that the real economic backbone of our country is our agriculture sector,” stressed Ling-Stuckey.

Resource industry supports food security in PNG: Chamber

As delegates from around the world meet in Port Moresby for the APEC Food Security Summit, communities across PNG are benefiting from a range of agricultural initiatives developed and implemented by the resources industry to boost agriculture in project areas.

Recently, the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture trained 39 women from Hengambu, Yanta, Babua and Wagang villages in Morobe Province on food preparation. The training was conducted by the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) in Lae.

Broaden PNG’s economy base

And Business Council of PNG President Robert Nilkare says the time to invest in agriculture is now.

Nilkare said agriculture is at the core of all Papua New Guineans and needed significant investment.

Speaking at the Prime Minister’s Back to Business Breakfast in Port Moresby, Nilkare said for too long the mineral sector has been relied on to bolster the economy.

He said while major centres of the country are moving towards technological advancements, the rural people still rely on the cash crop economy.

Agriculture secretary hails govt commitment

“I think the Government has finally got it right because in the last 30 years, we have been investing in mining and LNG but nothing was happening.    

“I thank this Government for putting agriculture as number one economic priority,” Dr Vele said.

Dr Vele revealed that in the Alotau Accord II, the Government prioritised agriculture, tourism and infrastructure compared to the previous term where the Government placed emphasis on education, health and infrastructure.