Maprik MP Hon John Simon is the new Minister for Agriculture and Livestock in the new Marape-Davis Government which was formed at the end of May 2019. Prime Minister Hon James Marape has appointed Simon to provide the leadership in stirring the sector that sustains the livelihoods of the majority of Papua New Guineans. PNG’s agriculture sector also offers huge untapped potential for rural and national growth and development.
In making the appointment, Marape said agriculture will be one of the top priorities for his coalition government under the slogan of “taking back PNG”. Marape added that the Agriculture Ministry will also be allocated three vice ministers to support Simon, and the three vice ministers will be responsible for the coffee; cocoa, oil palm and copra; and livestock subsectors.
Simon is a second term member of parliament and a former Deputy Speaker of the PNG Parliament. He is a firm believer of agriculture, not only through his vision and words but also in actions, having farmed livestock and vanilla at his home in Maprik. The Pangu Pati MP brings to the agriculture sector a great desire to change the course of direction to boost production, ensure food security and foster a sustainable sector for economic growth and national prosperity.
Minister Simon took over from Hon Benny Alan, who was the Agriculture Minister under the Peter O’Niell Government following the last General Elections in August 2017.