The three-day inaugural National Agriculture Research Systems (NARS) policy forum held
in Madang last week had been a success.
The forum, focused on ‘Agricultural Research for Development’, was aimed at bringing research evidence into policy analysis to better inform national development policies and investment strategies.
Acting Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Anton Benjamin said the outcome of the forum was a success and commended all the participants from different organisations for their positive contributions.
Mr Benjamin said he was encouraged by the spirit of collaboration amongst the NARS organisations and other stakeholders, which is vital for transforming the NARS – through aligning of their plans and programs with links to research and science – for enhanced
development at smallholder farmer and rural household levels.
Mr Benjamin said the exchange of ideas and best practices can be tailored to local conditions for the benefit of the smallholder farmers and believed that the forum has achieved this objective. This inaugural forum has brought together important partners in
research and development and related organisations that have set the path for
effective collaboration in moving the agriculture sector.
Acting CEO of Cocoa Coconut Institute and Chairman of the NARS management committee, Dr Eric Omuru, also commended all participants for making the forum a great success. He was satisfied with the high level of discussions and indicated that the forum
objectives have been achieved.
Mr Benjamin also thanked the key partners including the NARS organisations and the Australian Government through its Agricultural Research and Development Support Facility (ARDSF) for their support in facilitating the forum.
He said a number of important key policy issues were discussed and options proposed, which are aimed at bringing together research, development and major policy initiatives for the good of promoting the agriculture sector.
The forum concluded with a number of recommendations which will be finalised and a submission prepared for the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock and Cabinet.
Participants from the NARS comprises of six (select) organisations, namely; Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC), Cocoa Coconut Institute (CCI), National Agricultural
Research Institute (NARI), Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA), Oil Palm
Industry Corporation (OPIC) and Oil Palm Research Association (OPRA).
Participants representing the government, agricultural industries, private sector and
educational institutions discussed issues pertaining to;
- Raising the profile of issues faced by smallholder agricultural producers and value chain, rural livelihood, food security and agricultural research for
- Supporting knowledge-sharing on rural poverty and food security among researchers, policymakers and civil society groups to improve policymaking and reduce rural poverty more effectively;
- Formulating core messages to reflect these issues and promoting a coherent policy voice among the NARS organisations and partner agencies in these areas; and
- Enhancing participation and advocacy among all stakeholders in the rural sector, particularly those representing men and women rural smallholders, ensuring their voices are heard in national policy dialogue, analysis and policy formulation.