Southern Highlands to Invest in Agriculture
Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands government is focused on agriculture for economic empowerment and development initiatives for its people.
Governor William Powi said this when announcing the commissioning of several major project in the province on Thursday.
Powi, said the provincial government had partnered with the Israeli Agro Industries by establishing the Pangia potato processing facility.
Powi said he wanted the province to venture into agriculture instead of the focusing on extractive industry (oil and gas) to empower his people in growing the small and medium enterprises sector.
He said so far, his government had released K1.5 million for the project and would give another K2 million for potato farming.
“This is the game changer and we want to actively involve our people in agriculture,” he said.
“I will now spearhead agriculture in Southern Highlands.
“In the process we will support small scale farmers to produce potatoes for the factory in Pangia and export it.” Powi said the potato farming initiative would be rolled out throughout the five electorates: Ialibu-Pangia, Kagua-Erave, Imbonggu, Mendi-Muinhu and Nipa-Kutubu.
He said piggybacking on agriculture, his government would then look at reinforcing the law and justice sector including improved logistical support and housing for police in partnership with Oil Search.
He said certain parts of the province were suitable for different crops and the people would be actively involved in agriculture to provide for the market in the province.
He said restoring the rule of law in the province was an integral part of his government’s immediate priorities and that included building the K4 million judge’s resident, supporting the Bui Yebi Jail and the rebuilding of the national and district court house complex, after the original structures were burnt by arsonists together with an Air Niugini aircraft.