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PNG Agriculture Minister described as a 'torch with flat battery'

Opposition Leader Don Pomb Polye has described the Agriculture and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll as 'a torch with flat batteries, following his plan on abolishing the cocoa and copra institutes in the country.

Addressing cocoa and coconut farmers who will be affected by this at Kokopo in East New Britain, Mr Polye said the learned minister always seemed to forget that research, science and technology were the core pillar of any advanced economies in the world.

"The minister is good at making knee-jerk reactions. His plan to abolish the two important bodies only reflects that.

"My goodness, does he understand scientific approach in addressing cocoa borer or copra diseases? Based on their scientific researches, they make our farmers aware about invasions of diseases," he said.

He has taken the Prime Minister to task over the minister to stop making uninformed decisions which affect the people.

Polye stated that in Parliament he reminded the minister not to make similar announcements whilst debating on his previous plan to place a ban on rice imports without any substitution strategy.

He added that when his THE party was in government, he would fully resource and strengthen such research institutes to keep driving research and science in the country.

"The minister's plan to abolish them is backward. Our farmers cannot accept it," he said.

Polye called on him to retract his announcement to abolish them.

Meanwhile, a candidate for East New Britain and former MP Sir Sinai Brown has taken a swipe at Tomscoll for his plan which will affect the farmers.

An angry Sinai said he would want to see the minister travelling to ENB to implement his plan.
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