The National- Friday, January 21, 2011
By KARI TOTONA
PAPUA New Guinea is predicted to experience a mega drought by the year 2013.
National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) representative, Dr Raghunath Ghodake told the midday Talkback show on the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) on Wednesday that about two million Papua New Guineans would be affected by this drought which was predicted to be much stronger and longer than the one recorded in 1997.
“PNG population at the time was 4.5 million and now it has gone up to 6.5 million.
“More people will be affected and that is why we are carrying out preparation work in the community to make aware of the control measures in place and the technologies available with NARI,” he said.
He highlighted the three important resources that could be scarce during the drought were Food, water and fire.
He said there were nine to 14 different lines of sweet potatoes, taro, yam, cassava and others that NARI was focused in the awareness programme launched in May last year to avoid health-related problems.
He said currently they were working in regional centres with church-run services, non-governmental organisations and individuals.
He said with the financial assistance from the government, NARI was able to take the lead in carrying out preparation work.
“In PNG most food are fresh so we are making awareness on food control measures on food preservatives.
“This year is not too bad so there is enough time,” he said.