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PNG Agriculture Sector receiving less funding from government : Tomscoll

The agriculture sector is receiving an abysmal percentage of financial input compared to what its annual contribution to government coffers generates.
This was revealed by minister responsible for the sector, Tommy Tomscoll in Port Moresby during a two-day Agriculture Leaders Summit.
“We all agree that agriculture in PNG has been declining for several decades – it is the backbone of our people and national economy.”
“What we each disagree is what actions should government need to take to revitalize this important sector of the country?”
"Agriculture contributes 27 per cent of GDP, which in kina currency, translates into K2.5 billion – and that is towards the budget of PNG.”
“Although so much money has been generated by agriculture, the level of annual investment put back directly into the agriculture sector, in real terms, is less than K150 million annually,” Minister Tomscoll said.
Speakers from the poultry, livestock and farming industries accentuated various obstacles that continue to impede the growth of an industry, which
rightfully, should be thriving.
Most of them said the government has, over many years, offered the agriculture sector, mere lip service.
Point of discussion and of importance that were preached at the pulpit of the summit were factors that have been echoing for decades, but either lacked real government intervention or too much complacency from agriculture commodity producers.
Issues such as proper roads, basic agriculture facilities, reduction in freight fees, access to locals markets and institutionalized avenues where farmers are well aided in receiving money for their produce.
Agriculture and Livestock Minister, Tommy Tomscoll, in an exclusive interview with PNG TV Live, said he can only work with business houses that are willing to assist the country’s agribusiness without dictating their profit-based operations.

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