East Sepik Province holds one of the largest records in producing leading cash crops in the country and it is imperative that appropriate authorities are established in the province.
The East Sepik provincial authority has been prompted to intervene in establishing other commodity boards including Livestock Development Corporation which according to the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Hon John Simon, are non-existence.
This decision among others was reached during a consultative meeting on Wednesday April 29 2020 at the East Sepik Provincial Administration (ESPA) in Wewak.
Minister Simon has requested the ESPA team comprising of the Provincial Administrator, Division of Agriculture, district administrators and the Food and Agriculture Organisation to be in attendance to ‘put-on-table’ overall agriculture operations and programs status in the province.
The consultative meeting had allowed for the provincial team to present a status report on the progress of agriculture programs and projects in the province.
Minister Simon pointed out that it is imperative that such meetings are carried-out to observe and ensure that programs and projects are in their required progress.
The Minister has directed that few pointers to be immediately carried out:
- Review of Provincial Agriculture Sector funding arrangements;
- Reviving of Hawain and Saramandi Agriculture Research stations;
- Reviving of Gavien Rubber Scheme;
- Reviving of Cattle ranches at Wariman, Urimo, Timbunkei and Kwimbu;
- Identifying areas/locations for cattle breeding and holding facilities;
- Investment in provincial food security with a focus on rice farming while enhancing existing farming in the Angoram District and also to establish four ‘rice seed gardens’ in the country (one in the Sepik Plain); and
- Rehabilitation of cocoa, vanilla and coffee.
The Minister also advised that while a submission needs to be prepared by the provincial authority to immediately take back Sepik coffee, especially coffee mills, the emphasis should be on phasing out of clean pipe dryers to combination and solar cocoa dryers that should improve quality of cocoa for export.
Meantime, the Minister has also directed that amidst the global Covid-19 pandemic it is imperative to consider interventions in the agriculture sector. He said the ESPA needs to do up a submission on Covid-19 intervention in agriculture: ‘fuel subsidy’ and ‘water supply’ are important at this time. [Released: May 03 2020]