Donald wants rice imports cut to save K800mil

Business

About K800 million is spent annually on importing rice to feed the eight million people of Papua New Guinea, says North Fly MP James Donald, pictured.
He said this when witnessing the delivery of 12 solar-powered rice milling machines to farmers in Markham in Morobe, on Thursday.
Donald said spending K800 million to import rice was a waste of money.
“How do we cut off that?” he said.
“How do we save that K800 million every year. I think this pilot project will solve the problem of importing rice.
“We have land, yet we are not doing anything on it.
“It could be both sides: The farmers are not tilling the land or the Government is not having centre of attention for farmers.
“The challenge for every one of us is to work. We have no time to muck around.
“You play your part and the Government plays its part.
“We can make the project a success.
“We will soon feed our people if we all get our hands down on the soil it’s very easy.
“It’s a three-month crop so I don’t see a problem. All we have to do is get our families organised and at the end of the day we will harvest rice.
“The Government should look at putting some bans on imports and take into consideration companies operating in the country to help farmers.
“I am totally in support of all this.
“If we had put big emphasis in agriculture a long time ago, we would had been somewhere.”

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