Country’s Leading Cocoa Producing District to limit foreign middlemen in the buying process
PNG Business News - January 11, 2023
DAL to Launch 2023-2027 Corporate Plan to Modernize Agriculture Sector and Increase Accountability
Photo: Secretary Dr. Nelson Simbiken The Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) is set to launch its 2023-2027 corporate plan this month, according to acting Secretary Dr. Nelson Simbiken. This plan will aim to drive the sector forward and for the first time, DAL is also upgrading its information and communication technology (ICT) systems. Dr. Simbiken stated, "For so many years, DAL did not have an ICT infrastructure. The only one we had was the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) supporting us, and they only came in as consultants. As a result, DAL was not connected through ICT to the regional offices." However, things are changing. "Since I came on board in May 2022, we have set up an ICT system in the department. We contracted Telikom to do a complete audit of the department's ICT system and now DAL has a modern ICT system that will connect to the provinces," he said. The department is also digitizing its finances and will eventually move to a cloud-based system. Dr. Simbiken highlighted that this is a significant achievement for DAL as it has never been done before. The corporate plan also aims to 'right-size' the sector and cut excess expenditure. DAL will establish an internal committee to review every expenditure in the agriculture sector to ensure that funding is being used to deliver services to the people and improve compliance and governance. Dr. Simbiken emphasized that this is the first time DAL is taking such initiative and it is key to making DAL accountable for all its funding. In conclusion, Dr. Simbiken stated that agriculture will be the driver for economic independence for the government's vision.
Paul Oeka - December 15, 2022
PNG NEEDS TWO MORE DAIRY FARMS: MARU
Photo: Ilimo Dairy Farm. Credit: LR Group There is a need to build two more dairy farms in the country since Papua New Guinea is still importing around K300 million worth of milk products into the country. Minister for International Trade Relations and Investment, Richard Maru said this when emphasizing on the need to bring in more investors into the country last week during the appointment of his acting Secretary. Minister Maru said that the only Dairy Farm in the country is the Ilimo Dairy Farm outside Port Moresby which has saved the country K100 million in imports in a year and the farm has also created up to 500 job opportunities for Papua New Guineans, However PNG is still importing K300 million worth of milk products and the Minister has said that his Ministry and Department will make sure that two new dairy farms will be built in Morobe and East Sepik. "We have been importing dairy products until we brought in the technology from Israel to set up the dairy farm in Ilimo and we have saved K100 million in dairy exports annually and also created 500 jobs but we are still importing K300 million worth of milk products, so we need to build two more Dairy Farms", "This Department will make sure that by next year we will build two more Dairy Farms, one in East Sepik and the other in Morobe so in the next two years we will finally cease all these imports". Minister Maru said. He added that the new Ministry of International Trade Relations and Investment is an important and Vital ministry that needs to be funded. "We should know the importance and role of the Ministry and the need for this Ministry to be funded for our recurrent and capital", Minister Maru further stated that he will look for partners around the world to come into the country and invest. Meanwhile The Department of International Trade Relations and Investment had also announced the appointment of its acting Secretary Jacinta Waraku Manau who will head the new Department of International Trade Relations and Investment while James Joshua who was also appointed will lead as the Chairman of the Securities Commission.
Paul Oeka - December 15, 2022
PM LAUNCHES GOVTS COFFEE POLICY
Photo credit: RNZ Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has launched his government’s policy on coffee which includes a target of 2,500 trees per family that aims to return interest to one of Papua New Guinea’s leading commodities that once was the highest agriculture revenue earner in the country. The Prime Minister announced this in Banz, Jiwaka Province last Friday where he travelled to officiate at the launch of the Coffee policy and opening of the coffee festival where thousands of people gathered to witness and participate in the event. He also announced that the Marape-Rosso Government would make sure that the price of coffee remains constant between K7 and K13 per kilogram for growers throughout the year starting next year in 2023. “Do not listen to critics on Facebook and in newspapers. There are political and corporate critics who are against what we are doing and saying because there is now a tectonic shift against their corporate interests from the status quo,” said PM Marape. “We are taking care of your children’s education with free education. We are connecting the country with good roads so now you can have access to good markets. We are putting in programs so you can become engaged where you are. “You must return to your land and work. Grow coffee.” PM Marape explained part of the new policy to elevate coffee quality and individual family interest in the cash crop was to encourage as many families as possible within the 17 coffee-producing provinces grow 2,500 trees. The logic is that if families can get into smaller, more manageable coffee orchards as SMEs, they can concentrate on giving the trees and their beans the best care to ensure quality at the market. “If one family can grow 2,500 trees, it can make between K21,000 and K25,000 per year to sustain itself,” said PM Marape. The Prime Minister said beginning next year onwards, the price of coffee would not be allowed to drop below K7 as the Government has several agriculture support programs such as Price Support and Freight Subsidy to buffer against price drop. “For price, A-Grade Coffee will make you between K9 and K13; B-Grade Coffee K8 and K12; and C-Grade Coffee K7 and K11. I assure you all, we will not go below K7,” he said. PM Marape also called on the provincial governments of Jiwaka, Western Highlands and Chimbu to begin working collaboratively on coffee with a view to opening a Special Economic Zone to develop this cash commodity further. He committed K5 million to each of the two provincial governments (Jiwaka and WHP) and K2 million to each of the coffee-producing districts of Jiwaka (North Waghi, South Waghi, Kerowagi, Dei, Mul Bayer, and Jimi) to begin exploratory and preparatory work to coordinate and link all coffee growers in the province and to begin implementing the 2,500 coffee trees per family policy beginning in 2023 where this sector is supported in the budget. Prime Minister Marape also used the time to call on the youth of Jiwaka to give up drug and alcohol abuse and return to toil their land, grow coffee and make money to better their lives.
Paul Oeka - December 15, 2022
60,000 Oil Palm Seedling Nursery to be Built in Markham for Small holders
Photo credit: Malum Nalu Oil Palm Industry Corporation is embarking on building and developing a 60,000 Oil Palm Seedling Nursery at Erap in the Markham Valley of the Morobe Province to supply seedlings to local smallholder growers in the Markham Valley and Ramu Valley. General Secretary for OPIC, Mr Kepson Pupita recently was at the Department of Agriculture and Livestock's station in Erap in the Markham Valley to initiate this project which is a 60,000 hybrid Oil Palm seedling nursery for smallholder growers in the area to benefit from. Mr Pupita said "Because there were already two Oil Palm Mills operating in the area there is not much smallholder involvement and activity apart from big companies that operate. So as the Government Authority responsible for smallholder development, OPIC has to establish an avenue for smallholder Oil Palm growers in the Markham and Ramu area to benefit and sustain themselves". The 60,000 seedlings are enough for 500 hectares of fast growing hybrid Oil Palm. OPIC has also started building a special projects office, two staff houses and have installed a generator as well as equipment and machinery to assist its officers in getting the project started. This initiative is in line with the Marape-Rosso governments vision for agricultural development in the country. The Oil Palm seedling nursery will be built on 6 hectares of land that is owned by the state under the Department of Agriculture and Livestock.
Paul Oeka - December 08, 2022
PROPOSED BUDGET INCREASE FOR PNGFA
Photo credit: Papua New Guinea Forest Authority The Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) has increased their budget for the remainder the year to remove the economic barriers that have been preventing them from generating revenue. PNGFA Managing Director John Mosoro said the budget that is proposed is well over what they have received before. "It is quite an ambitious budget," Mosoro said. One of their main focuses after the budget is approved would be to immediately reform the forest authority into a new entity which would better promote the economic and the social sector. "We will be looking at much better approaches in generating revenue for PNGFA as well as paying our dividends to the state while also looking at the welfare of all our staff throughout the country, especially those in the provinces where we need to consider and look after in terms of housing, land and proper monitoring and surveillance in their work," Mr Mosoro said. "PNGFA also wants to promote good governance in the forest board". "The board will be similar to other state owned enterprises in terms of remuneration and other things as well," he added. "Those are some of the things that PNGFA will start to focus and work on immediately once we get our budget through to the government," The PNG Forest Authority has one over-riding aim: to promote the management of Environment and Forest resources as a renewable asset for the benefit of present and future generations, in other words, to ensure that the forestry industry in Papua New Guinea is a sustainable one. The main aim of government policy in recent years has been to phase out log exports in favour of processed timber products to add value and provide employment, but at present 90% of the timber exports in this K600 million industry is still in the form of crude logs. Meanwhile, Minister for Forestry Hon Solio Waipo raised a concern that the forest ministry had been given little support by the Government and it was not enough for the Ministry to utilise all their plans especially in reaching the remote parts of the country. "That is what I will take up to the National level to see through the National Executive Council that we can secure enough funding for our budget to see our plans delivered to our people in the remote parts of the country," said Minister Waipo.
Paul Oeka - December 05, 2022
Forestry Act Reviewed
The Forestry Act 1991 (amended) is under legislative review after 30 years to accommodate the government agendas for the forestry sector, taking into account new and emerging issues in-country as well as globally. Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) in collaboration with the Constitutional & Law Reform Commission (CLRC) held a lockdown workshop in Port Moresby and went through the draft of the legislative bills on the revised Forestry Act. Participants at the workshop included directors, managers and legal officers of PNGFA and representatives from CLRC, Office of Legislative Council, Public Solicitor’s Office (PSO) and Department of Treasury. PNGFA and CLRC will submit the draft bill to PSO through the Department of Justice and Attorney General for them to check and later submit to the Office of the Legislative Council of the Department of Prime Minister and the National Executive Council for endorsement. The legislative bills drafted were collective views from the different stakeholder workshops that were conducted by PNGFA in 2020. The initial Forestry Act 1991 is more focused on logging, therefore in the revised Act new provisions were added to implement government policies such as downstream processing of logs, reforestation and afforestation, carbon trade and establishment of the State Marketing Agency and State Purchase Option for revenue generation, among others. Managing Director of the National Forest Service Mr. John Mosoro in his opening remarks said that the lockdown workshop to review the Forestry Act is important for PNGFA. “I was given a task to reform the forestry sector, and the first task of all is to review the Forestry Act 1991 to enable looking into issues of concern and other options for forest management in the country. “The enactment of the Forestry Act was one of the recommendations of the (Barnett Commission of Enquiry into the forestry sector in the late 1980s and was drafted and approved by Parliament and came into force in 1992 and has been in force for the last 30 years. “Although there have been a number of amendments made to facilitate implementation of government policies, the review of the Forestry Act has become necessary to accommodate for developmental trends and priorities of the government,” Mr Mosoro said. He stated that some reasons why the Forestry Act needs to be reviewed include: Forestry has a strong linkage with other sectors, hence developmental changes in other sectors need to be provided for in the forestry legislation to allow for complimentary and ease of implementing government policies. Climate change initiatives such as Reduced Emissions through Deforestation & Forest Degradation (REDD+) need to be provided for in the forestry legislation as it is an initiative that came about after the current Forestry Act came into being. Forest resource replacement programs through reforestation and afforestation will be among the major activities to reach 800,000 hectares of planted trees by 2050 as the target set by the government. This program will assist in releasing the current pressure on natural forest harvesting in the country. It is also a tool in addressing issues of climate change both in-country and globally. Through downstream processing of the country’s forest resources, the government is adamant to realise its full potential benefits. The processed and value-added forest products when exported can bring in increased revenue to the country as well as technological transfer and employment creation. Mr. Mosoro added that the Forestry sector has the support of the Marape-Rosso Government to re-model it to realize its full potential, hence reviewing the Act is on the right track.
PNG Business News - November 27, 2022
PM Marape supports development of oil palm industry on a massive scale in PNG
Photo: PM Marape and Governor Bird in discussions with representatives of Pacific Elite Palm Oil Group in Singapore on Monday (November 21, 2022). Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has given his support to development of the oil palm industry in Papua New Guinea on a massive scale. PM Marape gave his support after he and East Sepik Governor, Hon. Allan Bird, met with representatives of Pacific Elite Palm Oil Group in Singapore on Monday (November 21, 2022). The company currently runs an oil palm project in East Sepik, which it wants to emulate in all provinces, saying that it will be an economic gamechanger for the whole country. The company aims to create the largest agriculture-based wealth in the South Pacific, as well as generate electricity for PNG, using oil palm. Governor Bird told PM Marape that if a long-term oil palm development plan was drawn up, with the aim of economic independence for PNG, one million hectares of oil palm grown all over PNG would bring in an extra K100 billion for the country. “We can double our GDP just from palm oil,” he said. “If we go into downstream processing, this K100 billion could double, so that we could be earning K200 billion on top of our current GDP. “The other flow-on to the economy is power production that fits into the grid, carbon credits, increased cattle production, as well as jobs. “Palm oil is amazing because you can do so much with it, including green energy, which can be generated from the waste of palm oil. “If we have 33 operations throughout PNG, similar to what we are doing in East Sepik, 100,000 jobs would be created “This is brilliant.” Governor Bird told PM Marape that oil palm, when made into biofuel, would save the country millions of kina. “If we produce enough palm oil, we don’t need to go out and buy fuel, as we can produce our own,” he said. “It can also bring inflation down as we are no longer importing inflation. “I’m excited because it provides us an escape plan from all these things that are affecting us.” PM Marape welcomed the proposal by Pacific Elite Palm Oil Group and the ideas of Governor Bird, who has helped to grown the vanilla and cocoa industries in East Sepik, and PNG. “As regards expanding nationwide, I invite you to come to Port Moresby, and I will run the investment figures past the super funds and Kumul Consolidated Holdings,” he told the company’s spokesperson Alexander Tho. “A family of investors can easily mobilise the money required for the project. “I also want you to have a stake in the business, and run it, as we cannot do it on our own, in like what Barrick is doing at Porgera Mine.”
Paul Oeka - November 17, 2022
INVESTMENT IN AGRICULTURE IS PRIORITY: NORTH FLY MP
Photo: James Donald Vice Minister for Mining and Border Development and MP for North Fly North Fly MP and Vice Minister for Mining and Border Development James Donald stated that heavy investments in agriculture is the way forward for the district if it has to sustain itself after the OK Tedi mine’s closure. This was his response following the recent assertion and announcement of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd to increase the mine’s existence past 2032. “We have to use both the direct and indirect advantages from Ok Tedi, such as investments proceeds from Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC), Mineral Resources Ok Tedi No 2 Ltd (MROT2), PNG Sustainable Development Program (SDP) and others, to attend to our development desires, and agriculture needs to be our primary recognition,” stated donald. According to OTML Chief Executive and Managing Director Musje Werror, the quantity of useful resource and minerals in the ground should last beyond the 2040s, or even 2050s and consequently the business enterprise has changed into looking at extending the mine’s existence. In mild of this, Donald, is of the view that his people have to now move away from the habit of dependency and easy handout mentality and start thinking afresh about setting out into the agricultural sector to turn out to be effective economically and socially. “The 10 years before Ok Tedi Mine’s closure by 2032 isn't a comic story for North Fly and Western Province as a whole. The question is how organized or ready are we, to stand on our own whilst the sole financial powerhouse in our District or Western Province ceases operation in 10 years’ time? "My dream is for North Fly District to move towards agriculture. We will invest closely on mechanized farming by way of bringing in appropriate investment to farm cattle, goats, chicken, and grow diversely in order to develop our economy so that we must be able to produce massive quantities" he said. Donald added that “We should now be smart in our questioning and aggressively push beyond the limits of our aspirations otherwise it would be a tragedy. To do this, agriculture is the way forward for us. There is one impediment that holds us again is land issues in which an awful lot of the land are standard and so we have been unable to do huge scale farms, and so forth. “I actually have tasked the District Administration (North Fly) to start consultations with landowners. We can cross into agreements not to buy their land but have an expert to engage landowners to be part of the arrangement so we can assist them acquire their titles. We need large landmass of greater than 500 – 1 million hectares to realize our capability in agriculture,” stated North Fly MP and Vice Minister for Mining and Border Development. “At the same time, we must open up and entice investments in different key areas in our District and Province. Investments in building our human resources, enhancing and rebuilding our public institutions, creating Special Economic Zones, Free Trade Zones, constructing key permitting infrastructures together with roads and highways connecting the whole province. “Also, all Western Province leaders must unite and push hard for separate standalone Western LNG starting with the P’nyang Gas undertaking aggregating all the stranded fields by building a processing and load out facility in Daru. The benefit should be shared similarly across the complete province as we have done with the Ok Tedi Mining. This is the second one largest economy to hold Western province if we are not cautious.” This ought to be our priorities now and we ought to work extraordinarily smarter to recognise these aspirations he said.
Paul Oeka - November 11, 2022
PM WANTS LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY TO BE URGENTLY REVIVED
Prime Minister James Marape made a call for Papua New Guinea’s livestock industry to be revived urgently for import replacement as well as to be an exporter. Marape, in a press statement said Papua New Guinea once had a thriving cattle industry that was started in the colonial days by experienced Australian cattle owners. “Once upon a time, the Highlands Highway from Mt. Hagen to Lae was filled with cattle on the roadside,” he recalled. “Starting at Corn Farm outside Mt. Hagen to six-mile outside Lae, you could find thousands of cattle. Sadly, since independence in 1975, PNG’s cattle numbers have dropped to an all-time low. Settlers moved in on State land used for cattle and abattoirs,” he said. Marape said his government had directed the Livestock Development Corporation (LDC) to make a move in taking back all the state land occupied by settlers and use it to rebuild Papua New Guinea’s cattle industry. The State Land Reclamation Project was launched by former Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, John Simon at Corn Farm at the border of Western Highlands and Jiwaka last December. Marape said the newly appointed Minister for the new Ministry of Livestock, Hon. Seki Agisa would ensure that what Simon left off was continued and also to ensure that areas like his own province of Western, which had so much grassland, could be used to raise cattle with Indonesia and Australia just next door. “He will be given the necessary budget support to unleash the full potential of the livestock industry in our country,” said Marape.
PNG Business News - November 11, 2022
COLLABORATION VITAL IN MEETING GOVT TARGETS, SAYS KULI
Photo: Coffee Minister, Hon Joe Kuli Newly appointed coffee minister and Member for Anglimp-South Waghi, Hon. Joe Kuli is adamant in seeing that the government’s targets set for increasing coffee production and exports is progressed under his leadership. Minister Kuli said this during a recent meeting with the Coffee Industry Corporation Limited (CICL) management in Port Moresby. Kuli acknowledged the Marape-Rosso Government for the initiative in creating three new ministries under the Department of Agriculture and Livestock in which, coffee is one of them. “I thank the government of the day to realise the potential of coffee industry and for giving this ministry that we now have a representative in the government for coffee matters", he said. The coffee minister highlighted that coffee was very important to people in the rural areas. “I see that agriculture is something that our people continue to survive on for their daily needs. Cash flow and daily needs are met through the sweat and hard work our people put into working on the land.” Said Minister Kuli. The minister said apart from other ongoing coffee programs, coffee road project is a priority that must be continued to have easier access for farmers to markets. Minister Kuli said he would like to also see that more extension officers are placed in the districts and local level governments to restore the confidence and enthusiasm the farmers once had in the industry. He thanked the CICL management team for presenting important information on the status of the coffee industry and ongoing projects for his noting and how best the new ministry under his leadership could be able to support and progress work further. He further stated that “We must work hard to ensure coffee exports exceed the K1b benchmark. Another important factor is to put more extension officers in the field to move what we are currently doing. The Prime Minister has given me this portfolio with no structure but has put it under coffee and CICL you are already there. CICL is well established, and you are already carrying out the various programs. My team and I will join hands with you to see what better policies and programs we can enhance and work together to meet the targets as set out by the government.” CICL Chief Operations Officer, Steven Tumae on behalf of the Board and the management congratulated Kuli on his appointment and said that CICL stood ready to work closely with him and his team. “We are grateful that you have been re-elected to represent the Anglimp-South Waghi people and to be given the role of heading the coffee ministry." Tumae told the Minister of CICL’s existing programs and aspirations the industry had in achieving the government’s target of three million coffee bags by 2030. He said apart from relooking at the coffee replanting program, coffee rehabilitation, freight subsidy, road access and marketing, increasing the number of extension officers in the districts was one area that needed support to boost extension services for farmers. “Going forward, more partnerships with the district and provincial governments is needed to reach out and assist farmers in the rural areas.
PNG Business News - November 07, 2022
Envoy sees huge potential in agriculture
Photo: Keith Scott, the British High Commissioner to PNG The British Government, as a significant partner, wants to help Papua New Guinea access its natural resources, especially agriculture, according to British High Commissioner Keith Scott. Scott visited Goroka to see coffee production along with Dr. Ruth Wiseman, director of Oceania, South-East Asia, and Pacific directorate for the United Kingdom. “Prime Minister James Marape made it very clear that agriculture is a major employer in PNG,” he said. “We have seen in agriculture, whether coffee or palm oil or huge natural resources that can be exploited, waiting to be developed in PNG. “What we can do as partners to help the Government develop its richness?” He applauded the government for establishing separate ministries for coffee, oil palm, and other commodities, as this showed "its determination to harness the immense natural resources and agriculture potential." In Goroka, Wiseman saw coffee gardens, plantations, and manufacturers. She said that they were also attempting to understand the difficulties the coffee sector was facing and how the UK might help to support producers. “There is a real opportunity for PNG coffee to be sold in the UK and other parts of Europe,” she said. “We must work on finding a sustainable way to assist in coffee production. “We have to find steps to improve the process involved in the coffee production with increased quantity with quality.” Reference. The National (3 November 2022). “Envoy sees huge potential in agriculture”.
Paul Oeka - November 03, 2022
QUALITY COCOA ON THE RISE IN CHIMBU PROVINCE
Photo credit: Paga Hill Estate Large scale Cocoa farming is not something that is familiar in the highlands region of Papua New Guinea but the Chimbu Province in the highlands region is breaking barriers by engaging in large scale Cocoa farming for commercial purposes. For many this may sound peculiar because we have never heard of Cocoa being farmed in large scale for commercial purpose in Chimbu or any other parts of the highlands region for that matter. This is because cocoa and other crops that are grown in the coastal region do not adapt and grow well and yield in the highlands which is due to the cold weather and climate. But that has changed, thanks to climate change where there are more than a million cocoa trees growing in the Chimbu Province and cocoa farmers in the province are aiming to grow a million more cocoa trees by mid 2023. In Karamui alone there are more than 200,000 mature cocoa trees that are growing, making good money for the farmers in the area. There is a steadily increasing 30 hectare cocoa plantation known as Sorita cocoa plantation located in Karamui, Salt Nomane District in the Chimbu Province. From these 30 hectares they have already harvested and sold cocoa beans to the international market. Sorita Cocoa farm is the largest cocoa plantation in the highlands region and is owned by Norman Mondo, who has more than 20 hectares of cocoa plantation in Karamui and has a Cocoa Exporting licence. Cocoa board Chief Executive Officer Boto Gaupu presented a Cocoa export licence to Karamui cocoa farmer Norman Mondo a couple of years ago. Mr Mondo is slowly expanding his cocoa plantation to meet the world demand. Mostly he employs the local villagers in the Karamui area to work in his plantation. Karamui cocoa came second in PNG Cocoa of Excellency show in Lae, Morobe Province in 2019 and also came in at 50th place amongst 375 countries who competed for the world Cocoa Excellency show in France last year. World Cocoa analysts have labelled the Cocoa beans from the Chimbu province to be some of the biggest Cocoa beans internationally as the cocoa beans that have been produced in the province are sampled to be quite huge. While the cocoa farm in Karamui is expanding every day, the people of the neighbouring Gumine District have also planted more than 200,000 cocoa trees and are continuing to plant this year to reach the one million mark. The Gumine Cocoa farmers were supported by their former local MP Nick Kuman, who had urged his people to seriously look at cocoa as an alternate cash crop apart from coffee. He stressed that cocoa has the potential to produce high yield and good returns in income to the farmers. The former MP had given out K2 million in Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) funds for the Gumine district and wants farmers in this area to utilise these funds to tap into the cultivating and farming of Cocoa. In relation, Field service quality assurance manager of the Cocoa Board of PNG Mr Nathan Wartovo said cocoa normally grows in the coastal areas but today it is growing well in the highlands region because of climate change. "Karamui in Chimbu province has been the leader in the highlands region in cocoa farming but now we also have farmers in Eastern Highlands, Jiwaka and Western Highlands farming cocoa". Wartovo said. He said farmers in these areas were brought in by the Cocoa Board to display their cocoa at the Highlands Cocoa show hosted earlier this year in Kundiawa, Chimbu Province. It is already becoming a reality that Chimbu Province has become the first province in the highlands region to farm and produce high quality cocoa and is competitive in the country and on the international market against other cocoa beans.
PNG Business News - October 31, 2022
Agriculture Sector Needs K1B Budget
For the duration of 2023, the agriculture sector's planned operations would require a budgetary expenditure of K1 billion. Dr. Nelson Simbiken, acting secretary for the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, stated that the government must provide between K500 million and K1 billion to the sector if K1 billion is not possible. Nine commodity sectors, including the NAQIA, NARI, cocoa, coffee, coconut, spice, rubber, fresh produce, and oil palm industries, are included in the budget, according to him. “In 2023, that is the budget we want and we are expecting the government to give us between K500 million and K1 billion so that we are able to support our citizens through agriculture,” he said. According to Dr. Simbiken, the Department of Agriculture would require a total budget of K300 million to enable the department get started in the correct way by creating a new corporate or business strategy. “We will be launching the corporate plan at the end of this month or early next month. “We are going to restructure, reorganise and get our staff to work in the regions and in the districts getting closer to the farmers,” he said. “We have a new corporate plan coming up and we will ensure that by 2023 we will implement the corporate plan so that we address key policy agendas for the government, that is commercialisation, downstream processing, encouraging growth in the SME sector, financial inclusion of all our citizens, going into the rural areas and engaging through agriculture business across the regions. “We want to create the agriculture business incubation across the regions for our rural people to participate.” Reference: Post-Courier (25 October 2022). “Agri Sector Needs K1b In 2023 Budget”.
PNG Business News - October 31, 2022
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to Strengthen Economy, Says Marape
According to Prime Minister James Marape, commercial agriculture, fisheries, and forestry will be used to strengthen the rural economy of the nation. Marape stated that a strong agricultural foundation was a goal of the government. “Growing the rural economy through agriculture presents many opportunities,” he said. “We must explore commercial agriculture, unlock land, and look to open new markets for our products.” “The Government will maintain the commodity price support and freight subsidy programmes, both of which have had enormous impacts on the growth of the agricultural sector. “But we must build economic infrastructure to unlock the potential of rural areas and build market systems through digital platforms so that our people can trade more seamlessly in an increasingly integrated global marketplace.” According to Marape, the government has also created a long-term plan for the growth of fisheries. “The plan builds regulatory resilience, but importantly also provides very clear guidance on fisheries investment, and downstream processing,” he said. As a Government, we must participate in the market directly and encourage downstream processing of all our marine products, not just tuna. “And in forestry, we remain committed to stopping all round log exports by 2025 as a first industry to migrate to downstream processing.” Reference: The National (25 October 2022). “Agriculture, fisheries and forestry crucial”.
Paul Oeka - October 24, 2022
MINISTER WONG PRAISES PRODUCTIVE FISHERIES RESULTS
Photo credit: PNG Bulletin Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister, Hon Jelta Wong, MP, has stated that THE Prime Minister Hon James Marape has opened doors to create new market opportunities for PNG seafood exports to Japan. He said this when welcoming the Prime Minister upon his return from international duties. “The Prime Minister is the first Minister of the nation, who as team captain supports each minister in our duties, and on behalf of the Fisheries sector l am very pleased to see the inroads he has created during recent international engagements,” Minister Wong said. “During his meetings in Tokyo in particular, the Prime Minister opened doors to create new market opportunities for PNG seafood exports to Japan. “We can sell more tuna, prawns and other seafood to Japan at a premium price, but that does not happen by magic. Negotiations between the PNG and Japan Governments, and between our governments with businesses in both countries, have to take place to make new trade happen. With the COVID-19 threat receding, now is the time to negotiate the return of direct flights to Tokyo, so they can carry our fresh tuna to meet high end market demand in Japan. “The PM and his delegation drew the right people together to expand our fisheries exports, and we will have positive announcements on these matters in the coming weeks.”