Central Governor Robert Agarobe says agriculture is the way forward for the PNG economy and he wants his people to fully participate in agriculture development.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy and for the people of Central Province, there is enormous potential, Governor Agarobe said.
And he is inviting investors to Central Province to look at large scale agriculture, although his government intends to focus on improving food security and smallholder agriculture projects.
Agarobe told the ABAC food security symposium at the International Convention Centre in Port Moresby on August 8 that he is pushing for major agriculture development in Central Province and wants the provincial administration to take positive action in implementing the decision.
Goilala and Abau are two of the districts that have abundant land, fertile soil, good climate and other factors, and can be supported with infrastructure and other government services to facilitate agriculture improvement.
Agarobe said one of the key decisions is to build and establish the provincial headquarters of the province at Bautama. This is aimed at bringing the provincial administration closer to the Central people.
He has called on the administration to relocate officers back into the districts to enable them to perform their duties and responsibilities in delivering basic services in rural communities. He wants an improvement in agriculture extension services, farmer training and infrastructure facilities as the best approach to change the province. The province is also looking at other approaches such as working in partnership with volunteer organizations, donor agencies and others, to boost economic development activities.
Agarobe said he wants to establish and build infrastructure such as roads, bridges, airstrips, health facilities, aid posts, schools, police, and other services to enable the rural villagers to have access.
He wants economic empowerment to improve and this involves building market infrastructure to enable farmers to sell their produce on wholesale basis to avoid problems in the nation’s capital.
There are many challenges but Mr Agarobe is determined because some areas of Central such as Goilala and Abau have suitable, fertile land and conducive climate that can be utilized to grow a wide variety of crops including coffee, fresh vegetables and livestock.
He said these challenges can be overcome if everyone work together and support the efforts to bring positive changes.
“We must create income-earning opportunities for the village people to participate in agriculture development, and I am determined to take this approach to enable the rural communities to improve and benefit themselves.”
Agarobe said he wants to take his message to all levels of the communities and conduct awareness to make the people understand the importance of agriculture and how agriculture can be fully utilized to benefit them.