The National, Monday October 28th, 2013
THE Central provincial government’s latest agriculture policy will strengthen cooperative societies and include concepts from the Israeli kibbutz system, Governor Kila Haoda said.
The policy will identify and establish contract markets so individual farmers and cooperatives are assured of markets for their fresh produce and cash crops, he said while speaking during World Food Day celebrations at Kwikila in Rigo district last Friday.
Ilimo farmland outside Port Moresby city will be developed into the first kibbutz-style cooperative establishment in the province. The farmland was once the site of a thriving poultry project but was now Central provincial government property.
“Cooperative societies are the way to go in fully harnessing the agricultural potential of the province and getting the best economic returns for it,” he said.
One such extension system, driven by the Agriculture and Livestock Department, is the Smallholder Support Services Expansion Project (SSSEP) already operating in Morobe and Eastern Highlands.
Provincial agriculture manage Kila Gege said the best mechanism available for the province was the SSSEP.
The provincial administration would be liaising with the Israeli government for assistance in setting up cooperatives or kibbutzim, Gege added.
Cooperative societies and the districts of Abau, Goilala, Kairuku-Hiri and Rigo displayed the bounty of their agriculture produce. World Food Day fell on Oct 16 but the Central administration had deferred its programme to last Friday.
He has committed the provincial government to purchasing a truck each for these cooperative societies.