Prime Minister James Marape has been commended for making agriculture a top priority of the new government.
Department of Agriculture and Livestock acting Secretary Daniel Kombuk thanked the Prime Minister for his commitment towards agriculture and assured him that the department and agricultural sectoral agencies and commodity boards will give their full support.
Kombuk said agriculture is a key player in the country’s economy and the sector needs the support of the government to realise its full potential; hence it was good news to hear that the Marape-led government will consider the importance of agriculture.
“As Acting Secretary for DAL, I am humbled by the Prime Minister’s commitment towards agriculture. I can assure you Prime Minister that this is the sector that will continue to sustain the economy of our country after the life of the extractive industries.”
Mr Kombuk said the department and sector stand ready to work with the new government in pursuing new policy agenda and initiatives that will promote and expand growth of the sector and enable farmers to actively engage in agriculture activities in all sub-sector levels.
He challenged development partners in agriculture and stakeholders to be prepared to align with government thinking and policy priorities to ensure that their programs and plans are resulted oriented and address the core issues affecting farmers and people in the value chain.
Mr Kombuk further highlighted the need for PNG to embrace biotechnology to improve and increase quality horticultural production whilst utilizing improved plants and animal varieties to boost the country’s economy.
The government will be guided and advised on the need to embrace these changes so PNG can adopt improved farming techniques used in many countries around the world to grow and expand the agriculture sector, and their country’s economy.
“The world has moved and developed countries have grown their economy through biotechnology and we must be ready to accept and embrace those changes in agriculture innovation if we want to compete with the rest of the world and make agriculture a major player in the economy.”
He said biotechnology is about promoting plant and animal breeding to increase quality production to meet our ever increasing domestic market demands, processing and for export under organic certification to earn much needed foreign reserves.
Mr Kombuk said PNG needs to adopt some of the more advanced farming technologies developed and used by countries like Australia, New Zealand, Israel, United States and some of the Asian countries that currently increase production through the utilization of improved plant and animal breeds as well as appropriate farming technologies basically to increase production for export.