AGRICULTURE Minister John Simon yesterday announced a K50 million price support programme for the sector.
He said the funds would allow the rollout of the programme in respective provinces that produced commodities such as cocoa, coffee and copra.
The programme was not only aimed at establishing a higher price threshold to support farmers but to support the interventions of decrease in imports and increase in exports which would bring in more foreign exchange, Simon said.
Each of the commodities had been given a set amount of money according to the revenue they bring in foreign exchange and the volume of production of respective commodities.
The money was divided as follows – price support break-up:
- Coffee industry – K10mil;
- Cocoa industry – K10mil;
- Copra industry – K4mil; and,
- Rubber industry – K2mil.
Effective intervention programmes:
- Oil palm industry – K2mil;
- Spice industry – K1mil;
- Livestock development – K6mil;
- Fresh produce industry – K3mil;
- Rice industry – K5mil;
- Other interventions – K5mil (this includes intervention for investment where lead farmers would be identified; a tripartite agreement would be drawn up between lead farmers, respective commodity boards and DAL for this part of the programme); and,
- Administration components – K2mil.
“Agriculture sector contributes about 26 per cent to the gross domestic product – we would like to increase that in the next five years,” Simon said.
He said the first K20mil was launched by Prime Minister James Marape in Port Moresby recently.