Infrastructure seen as key to economic development
YANGORU-Saussia MP Richard Maru sees infrastructure as the key to economic development and the catalyst to unlocking the potential in rural areas where most people live.
“Our rural people in the missing-link areas without roads also face unimaginable hardships in accessing basic services and are deprived of economic opportunities,” Maru said.
“Increase in agriculture production is correlated to roads, bridges and transport infrastructures linking farmers to markets. Without this critical connectivity, there’s little motivation for farmers to put extra efforts into working on their land to increase production.
“A strong rural economy based on agriculture is the catalyst for the transformation of PNG and growing our economic base sustainably and equitably.”
He said the extractive industry had caused inequality in income and opportunity.
“PNG’s socio-economic development indicators will continue to remain at the bottom of the barrel unless leaders take some decisive actions to empower rural-based people to enhance their quality of life through increased income, have access to health and education services, and reduce inequalities and poverty of opportunities,” he said.
He said the district wanted to connect the people by road to boost agricultural activities.
“For seven years (2012 to 2019), we have built and maintained 120km of district and provincial roads, linking 90 per cent of the people.”