NARI marks 14 years of service

Nari, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ON Thursday, the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) will commemorate 14 years of dedicated contribution to innovative agricultural development in Papua New Guinea through scientific research, knowledge creation and information exchange.
NARI has been in the forefront; promoting and undertaking agricultural research for sustainable development. In 14 years, the institute has gained national and international recognition as the lead research organisation of high development relevance to PNG.
The institute will host an agricultural innovation show to mark its 14 years in operation. The show will be held at the Sir Alkan Tololo Research Centre in Bubia (10-Mile) outside Lae.
All activities and exhibitions would be centred on “investing in innovative agriculture for prosperity”, the theme for this year’s show.
The theme reaffirms NARI’s view that progress through innovative agriculture is essential if PNG is to realise Vision 2050 and become a wealthy and prosperous nation. 
The nation has the need, great potential and opportunity to prosper through innovative agriculture. Therefore, all efforts would be on investing in innovative agriculture.
NARI will also concentrate its efforts in encouraging consistent investment in agriculture, particularly in research, to develop technologies and innovations which are crucial agents in innovative agriculture and rural development.
With the economy projected to grow at 8.5% and the liquefied gas and other non-renewable projects coming on stream, PNG now has the environment and opportunities for all stakeholders to make positive contributions to innovative agriculture development and to research, science and technology, in particular.
Since its inception in 2007, the show has become a popular annual event to recognise and value the importance of innovations and development in agricultural, promoting and creating awareness on the significant role of research, science and technology in innovative agriculture and rural development.
Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Paru Aihi has been invited to officiate at Thursday’s event. Also invited is Morobe Governor Luther Wenge.
This year’s show will involve demonstrations and displays of materials and technologies. NARI will also release three improved technologies to the farming community. 
About 40 research and development organisations, extension service providers and representatives from the private sector, NGOs, women’s groups, businesses, innovative farmers and community groups have indicated their participation.
The research institute foresees “prosperous PNG agricultural communities”. To realise this, NARI stands by its mission “to promote innovative agriculture development through scientific research, knowledge creation and information exchanges”.
NARI research and development programmes fall within the framework and priorities set by the government’s medium-term development plan, the development strategic plan 2010-30, Vision 2050 and the national agricultural development plan. They were designed to contribute to food security, improved incomes and growth and sustainable agricultural development in PNG targeting smallholder farmers and the rural communities.
In a bid to remain focused and efficient, the institute has adopted a four-tier system of planning comprising a corporate plan, strategic plan 2006-15 and a strategy and results framework 2011-20. The plans, which chart the way forward for the immediate and medium terms, would be translated into actions through the annual implementation plans and reviews.
An annual implementation plan for this year is being implemented. 
At Thursday’s show, NARI officers will demonstrate how the institute is addressing the various needs and aspirations of Papua New Guineans.
Exhibitions and demonstrations will showcase the various NARI programmes throughout the country. These include innovative farming practices and improved food crop varieties, emerging food and cash crops, livestock production and management practices and resource management issues based on NARI’s applied and adaptive research.
Farmers and the public will also get to know the technical, analytical and diagnostic services and agriculture information services provided by the institute.
The institute has, so far, released 37 sets of improved technologies to the PNG farming community and is currently implementing 40 research and development projects.
On its 14th anniversary, NARI acknowledges the invaluable support from the PNG government, AusAID, the European Union, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and key collaborators and partners both locally and abroad.
With research, NARI is continuing on the path towards knowledge creation and technology generation and transfer to improve agricultural productivity and production, reduce poverty, create broad-based economic growth and bring about improved welfare for all in PNG. 
The institute believes that agricultural research and innovations should be the heart of development in the country. And the show is one such effort that can lead to agricultural innovations in PNG.
The show will provide opportunities for stakeholders in the agriculture sector and participants to see these modern developments that have the potential to promote and improve agriculture in PNG. It will allow stakeholders to come together to share information, exchange views and showcase their activities.
While the importance of science, research and technology is appreciated for any development, these alone are not sufficient to bring real development and prosperity.
What is needed is to link research outputs to development impacts.
We have to create an effective bridge between the scientific world and development. And, that is what NARI wants to do on Thursday.