The Agriculture Cooperative College of Papua New Guinea (ACC-PNG) was launched today.
ACC-PNG is located at 12 Mile, just outside Port Moresby, and it has the potential to turn the agriculture sector around for the better.
The aim of the College is to impart modern agribusiness knowledge to farmers.
The man instrumental in setting up ACC-PNG, John Mebil, has been farming, teaching agriculture, and agribusiness knowledge in five provinces over 20 years.
He said there is a need to establish cooperatives in partnership, rather than work in competition, towards producing quality agro-based product demand for markets and small to medium sized goods in the community.
From his experience, coordination is the missing link in the whole agriculture value chain, with huge losses to the farmers.
Deputy Opposition Leader, Sam Basil, said successive governments have failed farmers. He maintained that agriculture is still the backbone of Papua New Guinea, and must be the government’s number one priority.
The college aims to establish alliances with public and private agriculture developers, and key stakeholders to share common interest.
Governor for East Sepik, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, emphasized the importance of educating the next generation of Papua New Guineans in agriculture.
Somare said growing populations and increasing demand for land is seen worldwide. He said although Papua New Guinean’s are increasingly relying on imported food, the country still has an opportunity in the agriculture sector.