K113m to Support Agriculture, Food Security
The Marape Government is releasing K113 million from its coronavirus economic stimulus package to increase the production and quality of home-grown staple foods, ensuring food security and supporting primary industry incomes.
This was announced by the Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey yesterday.
“This agriculture and food security funding, the biggest element of our K600m in direct budget funding support on Covid-19, recognises the fact that agriculture underpins the livelihoods of most Papua New Guineans,” he said.
“Over 85 per cent of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for consumption and cash cropping for income.
“Covid-19 is a tricky, hidden enemy.
“Decisions by the Marape-Steven government have helped protect PNG.
“But there is still great uncertainty, and the experts are telling us that we must stay alert.
“If the pandemic starts spreading in our country, there is likely to be serious disruptions to usual food supplies.
“By returning to the garden and planting more food crops, our people can be better prepared.
“This battle is likely to be a long one – we are empowering our people to help protect their food security and nutrition for their families” said Ling-Stuckey.
He said K1m was being provided to each district development authority and provincial executive committee to be used for programs that improve food security and strengthen agriculture production through their Covid-19 sub-accounts (K111m in total).
The funds must be directed to agriculture and food security programs, including:
The purchase and distribution of improved seeds or seedlings.
Purchase of essential equipment such as rice or coffee mills.
Purchase of garden tools for distribution to farmers.
Provision of agriculture extension services.
Plant pest management (including fall armyworm mitigation measures).
Livestock management (including African swine fever mitigation measures).