Govt asked to complete outstanding funding to outgrowers


JOINT venture partners Innovative Agro Industries and the Enga government are calling on the Government to complete its funding of K6 million for the benefit of locals engaged as outgrowers.
Engan farmers said their potatoes and strawberries were not being bought.
The partnership since late last year encouraged locals to become outgrowers for the Agro Industrial Centre in Sirunki.
Governor Sir Peter Ipatas said the project showed it had the potential to improve the livelihoods of people in districts.
“IAI PNG have stepped up the challenge and delivered a project that has created cash-cropping opportunities where previously none has existed,” he said.
“This is a solid step towards achieving food security in Enga, as local farmers have the opportunity to put cash in their pockets to pay for household necessities.
“Supported by the Government, the provincial government made an initial investment in 2017 of K5 million in Surunki Farm. There are currently some outstanding commitments which are urgently needed.”
Sir Peter said the project required an investment of K23 million to complete, after a two-year feasibility study, with the final K6 million Government contribution yet to be received.
“Local outgrowers have been producing potatoes to sell back to Sirunki Farm since last year,” he said.
“IAI have worked incredibly hard to deliver this diverse agriculture project that encourage meaningful participation from local farmers.
“It is vital that Government completes funding commitments to projects like Surinki Farm because they strengthen the economy by commercially producing large quantities of import replacements and creating cash-cropping and employment opportunities for Papua New Guineans.”
He said IAI would soon be opening a processing facility in Port Moresby to allow for Engan produce to supply the urban market and compete with foreign imports.