Province to implement project

The National,Monday July 4th, 2016

AN agreement was signed in Kokopo last week to address the need for horticulture production and marketing in East New Britain.
The ENB government, Fresh Produce Development Agency Ltd and ENB Market Authority agreed to cooperate and work towards implementing a fresh produce extension development project in the province.
The agreement would make way for a cost-effective extension programme that will strengthen the development of the horticulture industry in ENB.
The agreement will also improve the production and marketing of horticulture crops that can increase family income, sustain food security and the livelihood of horticulture-based families in the province.
The stakeholders would focus on root and tuber crops, dry storage allium products, perennial fruits, leafy vegetables, fruits, carbohydrate staples, and pulse and coarse grains.
The stakeholders would also focus on developing market facilities, product demand and data collection.
Speaking at the occasion, provincial division of primary industries adviser Blaise Magaga said the agreement was a way forward in capacity-building for the vast population that lived in rural areas and farmed for a living.
He said the biggest challenge in improving the horticulture sector in the province was quality.
“This opportunity is going to encourage our farmers in East New Britain to produce more than what their gardens have been producing so they can sell to other provinces,” Magaga said.
“It will also help them produce quality crops for commercial purposes.”
He said the agreement would allow farming families to earn more income through the increased production of food crops in their gardens.
Magaga said the agreement would benefit the province greatly.