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Simon: Agriculture Contributes to Economy’s Growth

In a visit to the Erap Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) station in Huon Gulf, Morobe, Agriculture and Livestock Minister John Simon said that agriculture can boost and contribute to the economy of the country.

He added that through this industry, the country can increase foreign exchange (forex) by increasing export in commodities and the import replacement, which is done through food security, livestock development, and other agricultural commodities produced locally.

“When we develop all these areas in our system, we will see that we don’t send forex out rather we save a lot in that,” he said. “Currently, we are sending a lot of forex out because we are relying on importing these things.”

Simon said that the government was eyeing cutting down imports with the sector achieving a reduction of 30 per cent by 2022.

Simon added that with the country not relying on the importation, the economy would get a big boost. “That is why Erap station is now being upgraded to be one of the main stations and a few years from now it will be one of the institutions of the sector that supports import replacement,” he said.

Simon added that Erap is a venue for agriculture development and programmes where stakeholders and the government can unite and work together.

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