I SUPPORT the recent Government decision to allocate K20 million for agriculture initiatives.
Agriculture is the backbone of our country as our people have been practising it for about 50,000 years.
By funding commodity boards to support cocoa and coffee farmers, we can expect improvements in our economy.
The boards have to be transparent and accountable in allocating funding to our farmers by:
- SUPPLYING agricultural equipment, pesticides and training on agriculture extensions programmes of cocoa and coffee farmers;
- REVIEWING land administrations and reviving rundown plantations in the country;
- STABILISING the price of commodities through subsidising transport in rural areas and commodities prices that will encourage farmers to be involved more in production;
- INITIATING trunk infrastructures projects to provide accessibility for rural farmers to sell at premium prices and export market opportunities;
- INITIATING storages facilities and downstream processing of cocoa and coffee that will to create more employment opportunities for our youths;
- PROTECTING our agriculture industries through increased tariffs on imported perishable agriculture products such as milk, eggs, meat products and bio-security concerns;
- SUPPORTING other agriculture export commodities such as vanilla, rubber and livestock among other products; and,
- KEEPING a database on the number of famers funded and are actively involved in agricultural activities.
Agriculture is the only industry that can employ millions of Papua New Guineans and we are naturally talented in this area.
While extractive industries will perish in the future, agriculture will support our generations in the years to come.
I commend the Government for its support.