MP: Focus on agriculture

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 26th 2011

THE country’s future depends on agriculture and tourism, deputy PNG Party leader and Anglimp-South Waghi MP Jamie Maxtone-Graham said.
He said PNG could do better and develop more through agriculture than through the PNG LNG project or mining.
“The country needs a smart plan to concentrate on agriculture and tourism.
“These are sustainable.”
Maxtone-Graham said the non-renewable projects “will run out but agriculture and tourism are potentials for the nation”.
He said in the 1980s, organic farm goods from PNG were sold to customers in Australia.
He added that this could be revived so that people should become actively involved in agriculture.
Maxtone-Graham said the government’s initiative of funding rundown plantations and for the national agriculture development plan funds “is commendable but more is needed to actually have healthy and smart policies and plans”.
“If K20 million is given to agriculture, then, within next year, the money can be made after the first shipment of agricultural products is made,” he added.
He said that, if given proper recognition and funding, agriculture, as a sector, was likely to overtake the PNG LNG project.
Mining Minister John Pundari said agriculture could take the lead in overall national development.
“We can forget the LNG and mining if agriculture can take the lead,” he said.
Pundari said revenues from non-renewable resources could be translated into renewable projects.