Agriculture sector backbone of PNG


EXCITING times ahead for the agriculture sector as we anticipate the likely launch of the industrial park project in two months.
The agriculture sector has always been the backbone of PNG’s economy and successful partnership programmes were needed in addressing impediments in growth.
At independence, the country had among its chief exports coffee, copra, cocoa and tea.
These cash crops were one of the first means for the people to make their own revenue and take part in the local economy.
The first project (PNG-China Integrated Agriculture Industrial Park – PNG-CIAIPP) to be established in Eastern Highlands is created to stimulate the development of the agricultural sector, for the possibility of establishing new manufacture of agronomic production, processing and sales of raw food materials.
The agri-industrial park will be a multi-specialty centre, aimed at developing the agro-industrial activity, which has the material and technical base, the necessary infrastructure, special equipment, facilities and legal conditions.
The function of the park is the development of small and medium-sized enterprises engaged in agricultural activity in the territory of the region.
An agronomy park is designed for companies engaged in the production, processing and marketing of agricultural products and the provision of essential services in the industry.
The most important problem to be solved with the help of this project is the creation of a suitable infrastructure to attract investors; the state support, arrangement of logistics, promoting the production, introduction of new technologies in the agricultural activities and the creation of a competitive environment.
The second will be the Highlands Agriculture Training Institute in Western Highlands.
Our people must be encouraged to invest in their land and to generate an income from the growth of market produce and cash crops.
The Highlands and Morobe are seen as the potential food bowl of the country.
That these provinces have been producing large amounts of garden produce for the domestic market for years.
The majority of sweet potato consumed in the country’s main cities and towns originates from the Highlands.
The agriculture sector in PNG supports majority of our people.
Coffee alone supports over 400,000 households in the form of informal and informal employment.
It is by far the second largest export earner behind oil palm.
It was coffee, cocoa and copra that took PNG to independence.
Garden farms also produce a diversity of other crops including spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, broad beans, cucumber and sugar cane.
Yam, taro, banana and sweet potato are the main staple crops grown.
As a result, the majority of people are highly dependent on the country’s forests and rivers for their food security and to meet basic needs. The livestock opportunity is not lost as there are plans to bring in the first heads of cattle from Cairns, Australia, by September.
There are plans to goats and sheep so farmers can start breeding them in ranches and in their residential surroundings for meat consumption and sale.
We are on the right track with agriculture as Prime Minister James Marape sees it as PNG’s biggest economic sector.
However, in PNG the biggest challenge is to access these farmers or the growers so value is added to the produce they have.
The most important tasks for the park is an increase in the share of agriculture in total GDP, provision of food security and improve in the life of the region by creating additional jobs and stimulating the development of small and medium-size businesses.
We concur with the Prime Minister that transforming agriculture into an efficient earner will naturally benefit the people and country.
Enough of talking and let’s get down to business.

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