China keen in Central’s maize potential

The Chinese government expressed an interest in developing maize or corn in PNG’s Central province when a team of government officials were in PNG last week to discuss agricultural technical assistance. They also highlighted possible training and investment opportunities that China can support to enhance agricultural development in the province and the country.

The team met with the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Sir Puka Temu, Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) and Central Provincial Government and also visited potential sites in the Central province.

The visit was part of a Memorandum of Understanding on agricultural cooperation that was signed between the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and DAL in 1993.

During the visit to DAL headquarters in Port Moresby, the Chinese and DAL officials held cordial discussions and reached an agreement in the areas of hybrid corn technical cooperation and agricultural technical training. They agreed that the potential of corn (grain) is huge in Central province and therefore could be explored given that China has the expertise and technology to support the grain industry.

The Chinese were also keen in a number of impact projects in which they can provide investment input. These include the establishment of an agricultural training centre or college at Mirigeda outside Port Moresby, potential in food production within the Central province, and private sector investments in developing the agriculture sector.

Both China and PNG agreed that training at all levels in agriculture is important and with the technology provided in a conducive training environment, it can have a greater impact in terms of transforming agriculture in the province and country.

From the Liaoning province, the Chinese delegation was led by Peng Jianliang, Deputy Director-General of the Bureau of State Farms, Ministry of Agriculture.

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