Agro sector disappointing

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 30th May 2013

 THE economic growth within the agriculture sector in PNG has been disappointing, Southern Highlands Governor William Powi said.

Powi (pictured) told Parliament during question time yesterday that according to the recent ministerial statement tabled by the Treasurer Don Polye on the performance of the PNG economy, the economic growth within the agriculture sector was disappointing.

 “This was a major challenge facing the country and its people today,” Powi said.

The governor wanted to know that in light of the prevailing statistics and in view of the economic boom in the extractive sector of the economy, what programmes and policies was the Department of Agriculture and Livestock putting forward to deal with the disappointing scenario.

He also asked if the department had any strategic policy and sustainable programme to translate the windfall revenue from the other sectors into sustainable national agriculture programmes where 85% of the people of PNG based their livelihood.

Powi asked if there were any sustainable programmes for the people of PNG to start preparing themselves and participate in rural communities throughout the country.

Minister for National Planning Charles Abel, in the absence of the Agriculture Minister Tommy Tomscoll stated that the country had been focusing too much on the extractive industry, particularly the mining and petroleum sector and had lost focus of the main source of sustainable economic revolution sector in the country.

“As government we should be paying more attention in agriculture,” he said. 

He said although there were good plans in place, execution had been lacking in the country.