Prime Minister and Caretaker Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, James Marape, has called on the management and staff of DAL, agricultural commodity boards and agencies to work hard and transform the agriculture sector.
Marape has urged DAL and its sectoral agencies to develop a new blueprint and produce a game plan that will see big changes in agriculture development.
“That is the message I am giving to all of you, to come up with a clear blue print on how we can double agricultural production by 2022. You must come up with a game plan, all of you are capable, and with the right mindset we can deliver.”
He challenged the department and agencies to utilize the qualified agricultural workforce, some with PhDs and were highly intelligent, to put their knowledge, skills and experience together to develop new initiatives to boost agriculture growth and expansion.
“Let me encourage everyone of you that the time for complacency is over, time for day-dreaming and fighting for jobs is over. You have a task to perform, work together and strengthen the agriculture sector.”
“I believe in DAL you have the greatest potential to change this country because the majority of population depend on agriculture.”
PM Marape made the call during his official visit to DAL headquarters at Central Government Office building, Waigani, on 17 July, 2019. He was accompanied by the three Vice Ministers for Agriculture and Livestock, Koni Iguan, Pogio Ghate and Henry Amuli. After making a quick tour of the DAL facilities, Marape was given a briefing on DAL and the sectoral agencies by the acting Secretary, Daniel Kombuk.
Marape said he wants to see improvement in the production of coffee, cocoa, oil palm, rubber, coconuts, spices and minor crops, rice, horticulture, cattle and beef, and others. Food production needs to be increased. Imports of rice need to be reduced which means more local production.
PNG can become the food basket of the Asia and the Pacific region. PNG should start producing food in a big way and start exporting to other countries.
Marape stressed that DAL and its agencies must come up with the right, workable policies, plans and strategies in order to secure appropriate funding for the sector.