Minister keen to increase farming export revenue

National

Agriculture and Livestock Minister Benny Allan wants to ensure the country’s current annual agriculture export revenue of K2.3 billion is increased significantly in the coming years.
He also wants the agriculture sector to be able to adequately feed and be a big money earner for Papua New Guineans and investors.
Allan said the foundation for these to occur has already been set with the Peter O’Neill Government including agriculture as one of its five key priority areas under the Alotau Accords 1 and 2 accords, along with education, health, infrastructure development and tourism.
To begin this process, the minister said he would revamp the Department of Agriculture and Livestock and related agencies and commodity boards to become effective, and actively involve private sector partners in a bigger way than at present.
“Agriculture has the potential to significantly increase this overall (export revenue) contribution,” Allan said. “I want all of us to work together to set the firm basis for a future vibrant agriculture sector which will significantly lift the sector’s overall share of our national GDP (gross domestic product) as well as feeding our population with the right types of food while creating more cash opportunities for Papua New Guineans and other investors.”
He made these remarks recently when addressing members of the Rural Industries Council, a significant player in the agriculture sector of the country.
He said the Government and the private sector should work in collaborative partnership to build the sector which catered for the bulk of the country’s population who owned and occupied vast areas of the country.
“This sector has been lagging behind in our development programmes.
“The Government recognises that the sector requires a constructive and vibrant drive and the Government alone cannot do this.
“It must partner with other parties, like the private sector, NGOs, the general community and the international partners in our national effort to promote the dynamic development of this sector.
“As Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, I will take the political leadership, on behalf of the Government, to involve all stakeholders to work together collaboratively. I will ensure that there is closer, meaningful and effective consultation between all stakeholders.
“The O’Neill-Abel Government has pronounced in its development policies that it will actively promote policies towards diversifying the PNG economy, especially through developing the sustainable natural resources of our country.
“This requires that immediately, all of us must work together to identify these resources, the research programmes, human resources skills and appropriate modalities to be used to develop these resources.”

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