Cattle farmers facing high costs, says official


CATTLE farming in Sialum, Morobe, is difficult and costly for farmers, an agriculture officer says.
Department of Agriculture and Livestock programme manager and rural development officer Mung Mutatie who is based at Tewai-Siassi said the major issue was the high transport cost.
“There’s no freight subsidy,” he said.
“Farmers meet all the cost.
“Tewai-Siassi is the only district which has smallholder cattle farms mostly owned by family units in the village. There are 57 local cattle farmers from the Wasu LLG and Sialum LLG and we are planning to move to Siassi.”
The markets are at Trukai farms in Lae and Ramu.
“Farmers charter ships to bring their cattle to Lae which costs K40,000 a trip annually with the selling price at K7 per kilogramme,” Mutatie said.
“During the 80s to early 90s, we have an abattoir in operation here which cut down costs for farmers.”
He said the ratio should be one extension officer serving 10 farmers.
“In here, one officer is looking after 3,000 coffee farmers, 5,000 cocoa farmers and 500-plus cattle farmers,” Mutatie said.
“How can an officer cover all?
“The Government must employ more officers at district and LLG levels to concentrate on certain commodities and crops.”
Kapam Mutatie, the president of Sialum Bulmakau’s Farmer’s Association said they faced many problems raising cattle.


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