Horticulture opening up for graduates, youths


THE Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) has launched a graduate horticulture entrepreneurship programme to get more tertiary graduates into the industry, an official says.
FPDA general manager Mark Worinu said during the launch in Port Moresby on Friday that graduates would be provided startup capital and technical support to venture into the sector.
“It is our dream that through this initiative we give hope and cultivate our young generation, contribute in the SME (small to medium enterprise) space, strengthen food security and unlock the potential of the industry to secure a better future of our people and economy,” Worinu said. “Following the launch, advertisements will be made for candidates to send their expressions of interest for consideration and selection.
“FPDA is embarking on an ambitious plan to transform the PNG horticulture industry through involvement of educated youth to take farming as a business.”
Worinu said it was a game changer for the agriculture sector.
“Graduates with relevant qualifications who have passion in the food and horticulture industry will be supported to become entrepreneurs in the subsector.”
He said the dream was to transform the horticulture industry.
“In the next 10 years, FPDA through the incubation programme aims to train, coach, mentor and invest in young graduates who are at their critical stages of their lives after completion of their studies,” he said.
“They will be provided with startup capital and technical support with close supervision to make them eventually become leaders in the food and horticulture industry.”
He said they hoped to create incentives and provide opportunities for young people graduating colleges and universities with agricultural qualifications to participate in food production, processing and marketing as well as value chain and agribusiness activities to support the government’s effort to move from subsistence to full scale commercial operations and develop a reliable food industry.
“The empowerment of fresh graduates is to ensure that the young generation have positive perceptions about agriculture.
“They will make practical contributions to the development of the agriculture sector, economy and society at large.”