Agro programme doing well

Farming

The People’s Republic of China has been commended for its continued support to agriculture development in Papua New Guinea.
The Chinese Government has been working in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and
Livestock through the Technical Cooperation Program on rice and vegetable farming over the past six years.
The program, hosted by the Department’s Highlands Agricultural College in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands, has been successful in promoting rice farming and vegetable production activities, not only at the college but also to villages and rural communities in the Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Southern Highlands and Enga.
DAL’s Director for Agriculture Education and Training, Cecilia Kagena, speaking at the college graduation in December, acknowledged the work of the Chinese project team under team leader, Guan Shihuai, in conducting and training hundreds of farmers over the years.
“This is a show of confidence and support by their Government and so would like to acknowledge and thank them for the perseverance and support these past years, despite the problems we encountered due to lack of budget support since 2016,” Kagena said.
“We will continue to fulfil whatever obligations we are confronted with in ensuring the completion of this project and look for a more cordial and warm relationship in the years to come.”
The project phase four has passed through two years since it was launched in October 2015.
There are currently seven agriculture experts serving under the project.
Their main activities are on upland rice demonstration, vegetable farming, agriculture technology training and poultry feeding.
Shihuai said the Chinese project team had harvested and donated rice free of charge to the college mess for the students.
Rice and vegetable demonstration farms have made positive impact in the highlands region and created interest amongst farmers from Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Southern Highlands and Enga.
“Agriculture training is one of the important missions in phase four project.
“We have held more training courses since the project started, assisting farmers, local technicians as well as landowners to understand how plants grow, and what they can do for a better harvest.”
A recent training course attracted over 35 farmers from Western Highlands and Jiwaka, building up their confidence and improving their rice planting skills, thus generating more interest in the communities.

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