Minister wants dept to develop price support policy


AGRICULTURE Minister John Simon wants the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) to develop the price support and freight subsidy policy to drive the sector.
Simon said this in Port Moresby yesterday when announcing the new acting secretary Dr Nelson Simbiken.
Simbiken is also the PNG Spice Industry Board chief executive officer.
Simon said the acting position was for a period of three months. “The previous acting secretary Stephen Mombi reverts back to his position as deputy secretary,” he said.
He said Mombi’s term as acting secretary expired in January and the National Executive Council had decided to look outside of DAL to take up the acting secretary position.
“Mombi’s term expired in January, 2022, however we have not extended his term due to some of the issues that I raise and I wanted him to act and fix those issues,” Simon said.
“One of the agendas that this government is running is the price support and freight support policy. I am upset and annoyed as well, now going into the election that I still do not have a policy. I have asked the secretary when he got appointed.”
Simon said he had asked for a policy to complement the initiative however this was not done.
“Apart from other outstanding key performance indicators and policy matters, make sure we have a policy paper on interventions that the government is running,” he said.
“This government is very keen on agriculture and put in a lot of funding as well. But you can’t run this programme without a structured policy. Since we came in, I asked Daniel Kombuk (suspended secretary), and then the acting secretary (Mombi), I need to take it to Cabinet, as we go for election, it is very sad.”