Madang leaders call for improved agricultural services

Two Madang leaders have called on the Government to improve agricultural delivery services to the farmers.

The province’s Deputy Governor Bob Wati and a former politician, Sir Angmai Bilas, appealed to the Government to provide more farmer training, improve extension and technology transfer and other services aimed at promoting agriculture.

Both men made the call at a farewell dinner on Thursday night (Sept 29) in honor of participants of the inaugural National Agriculture Research Systems (NARS) Policy Forum held this week.

They reminded the agricultural delegates, mostly researchers, scientists, academics and other professionals both from PNG and overseas that agriculture is the backbone of
the economy and professionals like them must continue to work hard to support
the sector.

The two men said they hoped that the outcomes of the three-day NARS policy forum will be translated into effective policies which the Government should utilise to improve delivery of agricultural services to the rural communities.

Mr Wati said agriculture is here to stay unlike the mineral resources and every effort must
be made to sustain a vibrant agriculture sector that will benefit the farmers.

Sir Angmai, a former national and provincial politician and now a successful cocoa farmer, blasted agricultural agencies for not doing enough to help the village farmers. He said
the poor delivery of services is affecting many rural farmers like himself and urged that more positive action is needed.

The men were proud that such an important forum was being held in the province and thanked the Government for its efforts so far in developing the sector.

The Inaugural forum which focused on Agriculture Research for Development was aimed at bringing research evidence into policy analysis to better inform national development policies and investment strategies.

The forum was facilitated by the Agricultural Research and Development Support Facility (ARDSF), which is a support program by the Australian Government under AusAid to PNG targeted at improving service delivery in the agriculture sector.

The outcomes from the forum will be finalised and a submission prepared for the Cabinet.

On Friday, the participants also went on field visits to observe some of the research and
development projects and businesses in Madang. They also visited successful farms including a crocodile breeding project.

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