The National, Monday July 1st, 2013
THE National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) is a leader in scientific research, Deputy Prime Minister and Inter-Government Relations Minister Leo Dion says.
He said it was important the 85% of 7.5 million Papua New Guineans who were largely dependent on agriculture and subsistence farming derived prosperity and well-being through agricultural development.
Dion said this when opening the Dr Ghodake National Biotechnical Centre at the NARI headquarters in Lae, which will be used to further research into food and cash crops.
“We need innovative options of developing new commodities that have comparative and competitive advantages to our environment,” Dion said.
He said there were niche markets in Europe for organic commodities like fruit and nuts, pyrethrum, vegetables and indigenous food crops.
He said PNG had the potential to help and take advantage of that by producing and exporting those crops.
He said export of such commodities was possible through innovative agriculture.
“The LNG and many other resource projects are going to give us billions of kina for the next few decades and we must make use of these resources by boldly investing in innovative agriculture,” he said.
The opening of the research centre was part of NARI’s annual show.