1 Dec 2014

PNG agriculture plea for government support

5:26 pm on 1 December 2014

Farmers in Papua New Guinea have expressed concern over what they say is the government's lack of commitment in the agriculture and livestock sector.

The Farmers and Settlers Association's Thomas Solepa says they are concerned about lack of markets and farmers outlets in centres such as Goroka, Kainantu and Lae.

The Post Courier reports him saying that the sector also needs far more support on combatting other issues, such as pests and disease.

Fresh produce at market, Papua New Guinea.

Fresh produce at market, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

A PNG agriculture specialist, Mike Bourke, of the Australian National University, says government and donors are more focussed on sectors such as gas and mining because they bring in the big money.

"Agriculture doesn't bring in that vast amount of money at a national level. But what it does do, it is improving the lives of the bulk of the population, both with self-sufficiency of food or largely self-sufficiency - eighty percent of the food energy Papua New Guineans eat is grown in the country - but also providing the income."

Mike Bourke