Group: Agriculture agencies, commodity boards yet to reach rural levels


THE Government’s agriculture agencies and commodity boards must reach the rural areas, according to a cooperative group.
Apo Cooperative Society director Brian Kuglme said some commodity boards were not reaching the people anymore and service delivery part was lacking.
“If you go to the rural communities and ask them when was the last time they saw a vehicle from the agriculture office, you will hear that they hardly see any,” Kuglme said.
“If they saw one, it would be along the highway or main road and not in the rural areas.
“The government’s price support and intervention initiatives are the way forward to help link up the gap and I commend this government for that,” he said.
Meanwhile, coffee is most likely the next commodity that will see its major buyers being funded through the government price support and intervention programme.
And some farmers in the region have been questioning the role of service delivery for the Coffee Industry Cooperation (CIC), the agency responsible for the coffee industry in PNG.
Farmers said the reason why the coffee industry was not moving forward was because of the government commodity price support and intervention monitoring unit.
They said good governance and accountable practices under the CIC management were lacking.
Bias Kiap, who owns 50 hectares of coffee at Sigri village in Jiwaka, said coffee was a livelihood and such intervention for the price support programme was timely.
Kiap said by increasing prices, farmers would see an increase in income and funding through CIC should be felt at small farmer’s level.