Concerns over high imports


OUR dependency on imported food is taking away foreign exchange and highlights the need to develop agriculture, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll says.
He said this last Friday at the launching of the Yapai potato project at Laiagam in Enga.
“We hear it all the time in the news that we don’t have foreign exchange. Why is it that we don’t have foreign exchange?” Tomscoll said.
“One of the reasons is simply because we are importing too much food.
“When food comes in, money goes out. What you need to do is to stop buying food that’s imported.
“Buy your own (PNG) food, keep the money in this country, rotate it (and) you will have more foreign exchange.”
Tomscoll said the urban drift must be stopped.
“Today, in Port Moresby, we see so many people. In the last five years, I have seen a lot of migration from rural areas into Port Moresby,” he said.
“We must reverse and change this trend.
“Let us do more seed gardens (such as Yapai) and bring more people back into the rural sector so that they can find money, find jobs, find food and they will not go back to Port Moresby.
“Agriculture impacts on everything.
“It impacts on the oil and gas. When I read that the economy of this country is not doing well, because commodity prices are low, that is a completely wrong excuse.”

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