Department to review, merge boards to make job effective

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The Department of Agriculture and Livestock will review all the boards representing cooperatives in the sector, Minister Benny Allan says.
Responding to Nuku MP Joe Sungi, Allan said there were too many boards within the sector which they would have to review and decide which ones were still relevant.
“We will review the boards and merge some of them to reduce the number of boards to make their job effective,” he said.
“All the commodity boards require funding  to meet  and  travel so we  have  started  work  to make it  more  effective  and  transparent.”
Responding to Northern Governor Gary Juffa’s claim that a  K750 million funding for farmers  had disappeared, he said the money was allocated with good intentions.
“At that time there were many paper farmers, people were not genuine and putting in submissions and a lot of money was lost,” Allan said.
“We will wait for the report to be tabled in Parliament and we will determine how much money has been lost.”
With regards to the appointment of the Oil Palm Industries Corporation board (OPIC), Allan said there was currently an interim board.
“Oil Palm is an important commodity and it’s been without a board.
“We are now starting the process of selecting the board.”
Allan said the government in the budget would include funding for roads into the oil palm areas.
Allan said they would also be reviving the plantations through the national plantation management agencies.
He said there were two important programmes under the agriculture sector, rehabilitation of all plantations and the nursery programmes.
“We will consult all the districts and provinces that have those plantations to participate in the rehabilitation programme.
“With the different commodities, I am calling on all MPs to put aside some of the funding available for the commodities boards to increase production and grow the economy.”
“Agriculture is an important sector and this government is now focusing to grow the economy.”