ENB has horticulture potential, official says

The National,Monday July 4th, 2016

EAST New Britain has great potential in horticulture, Fresh Produce Development Agency Ltd (FPDA) general manager Mark Worinu says.
He said although ENB had the best market in the country in terms of infrastructure, cleanliness and security, farmers in the province were yet to sell introduced crops for local consumption.
“Other parts of the country are now selling introduced crops such as bulb onions in their markets,” Worinu said.
“East New Britain farmers need the skills and the knowledge to produce these crops.”
He said ENB had a range of imported fresh produce sold at supermarkets in Kokopo.
Worinu said FDPA and other stakeholders had assisted farmers in ENB’s four districts – Rabaul, Kokopo, Gazelle and Pomio – to grow bulb onions for sale.
He said bulb onion farming was thriving in the Highlands.
Worinu said many farmers in the Highlands were benefiting greatly through increased income from the production and sale of bulb onions.
“Many people still think that bulb onions can only be grown in countries like Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
Worinu was speaking during the signing of a memorandum of agreement that would see FPDA, the ENB government and the ENB Market Authority work together to assist local farmers grow fresh and quality crops through horticulture.
“Farming should be treated as a business to sustain livelihood. East New Britain is not a desert,” he said.
“It has potential in horticulture or agriculture.
“The province is known for cash crops such as cocoa and coconut but has to also prioritise food crops.”
Worinu said the agreement would improve the province’s focus on food crops, providing an opportunity for families participating in farming to maximise their income.