The Women in Agriculture Development Unit (WIADU) of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) will continue to encourage and support women and youth in promoting the local floriculture industry.
Caretaker Coordinator Margaret Gene says DAL will work closely with its provincial women in agricultural development units to provide technical assistance and other resources.
Ms Gene said the recent floriculture show in Port Moresby, organised by the PNG Cut-Flower Association with support from DAL and other stakeholders, was an indication of the growing interest by women to participate in a potentially growing money making industry.
Ms Gene said it was not only women but also men who were either growing the flowers and plants, or supporting their womenfolk in other ways.
She was speaking at the closing ceremony of the show. Several women groups from the provinces participated in the week-long event by showcasing the different types of flowers and plants. Many city residents attended and were impressed with the wide range of floral displays.
Ms Gene thanked former coordinators of WIADU, Cecilia Kagena, now Director of Training, and Josepha Gabusiani, who has since passed away, for having the foresight and initiative to support the floriculture programme. They were also instrumental in seeking funding support from DAL for the programme.
Mrs Kagena described the floriculture industry as a “sleeping giant” with huge untapped potential for export. She said DAL, with adequate funding and resources, must continue to provide training and technical assistance to meet farmer demands.
PNG Gardner’s Justin Tkatchenko, who was guest speaker during the closing, said his company will continue to support the growing local floriculture industry and encourage government agencies like DAL to provide more technical assistance and funding to promote initiatives by local farmers.