Program to boost PNG agriculture

A NEW program to help Papua New Guinea increase its domestic agricultural production was launched in Port Moresby yesterday by the Australian government.
Program to boost PNG agriculture Program to boost PNG agriculture Program to boost PNG agriculture Program to boost PNG agriculture Program to boost PNG agriculture

The aim of the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access program is to provide practical assistance to Papua New Guinean farmers to increase production - in particular, cash crops - for export to regional and international markets.

Australian High Commission Minister Councillor Rod Hilton said $A5 million has been earmarked for the program which will implement PHAMA over the next two years.

"Through our partnership with PNG, Australia is increasing assistance for private sector-led growth economic growth to create jobs and reduce poverty," he said.

"The agricultural sector plays a vital role in PNG's prosperity, over 70% of the county's population relies on the land through subsistence farming to provide an income source.

"Today's global agriculture market provides new opportunities to develop trading partnerships that bring products to the global stage, providing new sources of sustainable and profitable income."

He also said other Pacific countries have adopted the PHAMA program, which include Fiji, Samoa and the Solomon Islands.

"PNG Agriculture and Livestock Minister Dr Vele Ila'ava said: "We are very hopeful that PHAMA will help us address some of the technical market access issues that continue to confront PNG.

"I look forward to the program developing a strong relationship with my ministry and technical organisations."

Activities und the program include sector development planning; improvements to cocoa and coffee quality standards; artefacts and handicraft quarantine awareness; and developing spice and chocolate products for export.


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