Call to invest more in agriculture

National

Most Papua New Guineans depend entirely on agriculture to bail the country out of its financial and social problems and we need to make real investments in the sector, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Benny Allan, says.
Allan said it was time the Government invested heavily to revive the sector.
Allan said this in Port Moresby when announcing the plan and dates for the country’s first ever National Agriculture Summit in Port Moresby next month.
“The revenues generated from the extractive industries should be diverted into massive investments in the agriculture sector in the country because that is the only way Papua New Guinea can grow a sound and robust economy.
“Most of the people depend entirely on agriculture to bail the country out of all the financial and social problems that we have, we only need to make real investments in the agriculture sector,” Allan said.
“No magic but real investments in the agriculture sector and that is very important.”
He said government departments could enter into commercial or business activities and it was important that the government worked closely with major players to drive the sector forward.
“We talk about small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) but what about the coffee gardens in Menyamya or Tapini?,” Allan said.
“This in itself is already an SME.
“The only thing we as the government need to do is to access these farmers so we add value to what they already have and produce.
“This is similar to other agriculture produce in the country.
“If we have 100 coffee gardens in a particular village, then we already have 100 SMEs sitting there.
“The only thing we need to do is to access them so we add value to what they already produce for decades in the country.”
He said the outcome of the 2017 inaugural National Agriculture Summit to be held next month would provide the roadmap to  driving the agriculture sector forward.

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