The National, Tuesday June 25th, 2013
By JAMES LARAKI and RAGHUNATH GHODAKE
THE National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) will hold its annual Agricultural Innovations Show at the NARI showground near Lae on Thursday.
The theme of the event, which will also mark NARI’s 16th anniversary, is: Innovative Agriculture for Sustainable Development in PNG.
The theme reaffirms NARI’s view that progress through innovative agricultural development is essential if PNG is to realise Vision 2050 and become a wealthy and prosperous nation.
The nation has the potential and opportunity to prosper through innovative agriculture, hence the focus on investing in innovative agriculture.
The theme is in line with NARI’s efforts to encourage consistent investment in agriculture, particularly in research to develop technologies and innovations which are crucial agents in developing agriculture and rural growth.
With the economy projected to expand by 8% next year and the LNG and other related projects coming onstream, PNG has a more favourable environment.
This provides the opportunity all to make positive contributions to innovative agricultural development in general and to research, science and technology, in particular.
Since its inception in 2007, the show has become an annual national event organised to recognise the importance of innovation in agricultural development.
We hope such an avenue will be useful to create awareness on the significant role of research, science and technology in innovative agriculture and rural development.
We strongly believe agricultural research and innovations should be the heart of agricultural development in PNG.
And the annual agricultural innovations show is one such effort that could lead towards greater agricultural innovations in the country.
This event which started in 2007 on NARI’s 10th anniversary is unique because it is the first of its kind to recognise the importance of innovation in agricultural development.
Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion will be the keynote speaker at the opening of the show.
Treasurer and Acting Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Don Polye is also expected to be at the event along with other senior government officials.
Besides exhibits by key stakeholders, highlights will include commissioning of the national biotechnology laboratory, launching of NARI’s strategic programme implementation plan 2012-20, and the book, Capacity Building of Agricultural Research for Development: Lessons from Practice in PNG.
The event will see the official release of two improved potato varieties and a pyrethrum clone to the farming community.
So far, we have released 27 sets of improved technologies to the farming community.
Over 50 research and development organisations, extension service providers, non-governmental organisations, women’s groups and farmer and community groups will be displaying their innovations.
We hope to create the opportunity for stakeholders and participants to see, feel and experience these innovations.
The presence and participation of our stakeholders will give recognition and support to our efforts not only to undertake and promote innovative agriculture but also to raise the profile of agriculture in PNG which, we believe, is much-needed.
We will be demonstrating how we are addressing the various needs and aspirations of the nation and its people.
Our regional centres throughout the country will participate with exhibitions and demonstrations on a wide range of activities.
These will cover innovative farming practices and improved crop varieties, livestock production and management practices, and resource management issues based on NARI’s applied and adaptive research.
Farmers and the public will also get information on the technical, analytical and diagnostic services that NARI provides to the agriculture sector.
On the occasion of NARI’s 16th anniversary, we acknowledge the invaluable support of the Government, AusAID, the European Union, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and key collaborators and partners both locally and abroad.
With their necessary support, we will continue to work on our core functions of knowledge creation as well as technology generation and transfer so as to improve agricultural productivity and production, reduce poverty, create broad-based economic growth and generate improved welfare for all in PNG.
The show continues to provide opportunities for stakeholders in the agriculture sector to see innovations which have the potential to promote and improve agriculture in PNG in the coming years.