Marape wants agriculture sector to perform, deliver

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PRIME Minister James Marape has summoned the senior management team from the Agriculture Department and its agencies to come up with a “clear blue print” that will double agricultural production by 2022.
Marape visited the Agriculture Department’s head office in Port Moresby yesterday and met with staff, the senior management team and various agencies under agriculture to share his visions and expectations.
He wants them to perform and deliver.
After a brief presentation by the department, acting secretary Daniel Kombuk expressed dissatisfaction and disappointment with poor agricultural statistics on production, exports and imports over the years.
“Key indicator from our statistics is that our agricultural production hasn’t increase over the years,” Marape said.
“We have either stagnated or dropped in agriculture production and our Government’s coming into agriculture in the first instance is not by mistake but by choice and by conviction.
“In my heart of hearts, I believe that the secret of getting our country moving and the combustion of engine and the engine that will drive our economy lie in agriculture and we appointed three vice-ministers giving them the task to drive with you to make sure results happen in this sector.”
He said time for complacency, day dreaming and fighting for jobs in the department were up.
“If you want a job, outlay your clear strategy to us,” he said.
“The secretary’s job is on the market.
“You want the secretary’s job, clearly outline and document your plan to revive the sector.
“I am challenging the department and all the sector agencies to come up with a clear blue print policy document how we can double agricultural production by 2022, at the same time reduce imports by 50 per cent and phase our imports completely by 2025.”
Marape said time for complacency, paper farmers and paper policy was over and it was now time for competent people who had the skills, knowledge and capability to demonstrate them clearly and be given the job to get things going.
“One of the immediate issues that we will have to address is getting the leadership in the department stable by appointing a permanent secretary.
“The job is now on the market for anyone who is competent and can come up with a clear game plan to revive the sector and double agricultural production by 2022 and phase out imports by 2025, that person will be given the job.
“I know we have qualified and dedicated Papua New Guineans out there so please come forward with your plans.
“Don’t come up with the same plans that got us nowhere.”
Marape was accompanied by suspended Agriculture and Livestock Minister John Simon and other ministers and vice-ministers.

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