K85.5m to boost horticulture industry in PNG

Farming

The K85.5 million (US$25.5m) loan from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) will boost the horticulture industry in PNG.
The Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Benny Allan, who witnessed the loan agreement signing last week said the investment in the agriculture sector would lead to reliable food production systems,improved post handling and post harvest systems as well as well-connected market opportunities and support services to address food and income security for farmers.
Allan expressed his appreciation to IFAD for having confidence in the PNG Government and supporting government policy initiatives. He also commended the Departments of Agriculture and Livestock, Treasury, Planning and Monitoring, Fresh Produce Development Agency and other stakeholders for their efforts during the identification, design and loan negotiation for the project.
“This occasion marks the beginning of the transformation of the food and horticulture industry in
PNG,” he said.
“It also reaffirms this Government’s firm commitment to supporting the economic sector to sustain the economy through expanding the revenue base. And the agriculture sector of
course is one of the key priority areas that the government is focusing on.”
The loan financing will assist in funding the Markets for Village Farmers Project (MVFP). FPDA is the implanting agency and DAL is the executing agency.
Minister Allan said the project would support the transition of subsistence farming to farming as a business to promote small producers’ inclusion in remunerative markets, to stimulate private sector engagement in the primary sector and to develop equitable and sustainable partnerships between agribusiness and small farmers.
The project will be introduced to the selected provinces of Jiwaka, Western Highlands, Simbu, Eastern Highlands, Morobe and East New Britain, benefitting around 23,500 householders. A further 185,600 are likely to benefit indirectly.Its objectives are to achieve sustainable increased returns to farmers from increased production volumes and quality in target value chains, improving market linkages, and improving value chains and facilitating growth and sustainability in the food chain.

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