The National, Wednesday July 3rd, 2013
By PETER ESOP WARI
A WOMAN, who believes agriculture can solve problems is battling against 12 men for the Ialibu town mayor’s seat in the Ialibu-Pangia district of Southern Highlands.
Two other women are contesting for council seats in the 13 wards of the Ialibu basin local level government.
Southern Highlands Women in Agriculture president and Law and Justice Association president Margaret Kawa said yesterday many young people were smoking marijuana, drinking homebrew and being involved in illegal activities because agriculture was not promoted in the province.
Kawa said she was a mother and understood that most of the youths on the street were not eating good food to stay mentally and physically fit and more problems were caused because they had to go hungry.
“We talk about other developments but so far nothing has been done to promote agriculture in the province. Agriculture is the backbone of this nation,” she said.
She said if people were heavily involved in agriculture, everyone would have money and have good food each day.
“If mothers are empowered in agricultural activities, their children who are doing nothing will follow and help them,” she said.
She said the province had been too dependent on mineral resources and had not paid much attention to agriculture. She said that had lead to laziness and a free handout mentality.
She said many times the provincial headquarters, Agiru Centre, was full of claims that had been practiced for many years and money meant for vital projects was diverted into unnecessary claims.
Kawa said if priority was given to agriculture and education, the province would see changes.
“Agriculture and education will work together. For those who could not further their education, they can turn to agriculture and those who continue to education will later empower human resource in the province,” she said.
She contested the 2007 national elections.