I REFER to the letter “Is potato the answer for PNG?” (The National, Sept 29) by Gene Drekeke Iyovo.
If the writer is from Tambul or other high altitude areas such as Surinki, Kandep, Gembolg or Upper Mendi, then he would not be writing the letter.
In these high altitude districts, the people depend solely on potato as their main cash crop as it generates income for the family and community.
In my district Tambul, there is no other cash crop apart from potato.
My people rely on potato mainly and other vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and carrot are planted to supplement their income.
We need money to sustain our living.
The people of Tambul-Nebilyer have been growing potato since the early 1970s and many people have been using fertiliser since then.
However, I am pleased to say that the environment and soil were not affected.
Tambul-Nebilyer does not have many educated professionals but thanks to the potato business, you can see that more than 90% of the bus and taxi services in the three major cities of PNG – Port Moresby, Lae and Mt Hagen – are owned by Highlanders.
Tambul-Nebilyer is a major contributor to the PNG economy.
If the writer knows of any cash crops that can adapt better than potato, I suggest he contact NARI and FPDA so that they can introduce it in high altitude areas.
Our local MP Benjamin Poponawa is doing a fine job by finding means and ways to fund the project and support the community in reviving the potato industry.
Keep up the good work, Mr Poponawa.