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AGRICULTURE SECTOR CRUCIAL

The agriculture sector in Papua New Guinea is crucial for the livelihoods of rural populations, providing food and income to 85% of the population. Additionally, it plays a significant role in the economy, accounting for 26% of the GDP and generating employment for many.

However, the sector is facing many challenges, including low production and productivity, poor quality agricultural products, limited market access, and insufficient investment and growth in MSMEs, poor extension services and fragmented and uncoordinated subsector operations. These constraints have resulted in low productivity and stagnant production in livestock and food crops production and most commodity cash crops, except for palm oil.

This was revealed by Minister for Oil Palm Francis Maneke during the opening of NGI regional consultation on the National Agriculture Sector Plan 2024 to 2033 workshop recently held in Kokopo, East New Britain Province.

The National Agriculture Sector Plan 2024 to 2033 aims to provide a strategic direction for the agriculture sector in Papua New Guinea by outlining the priorities, strategies, and actions needed to achieve sustainable agriculture development, food security and nutrition, poverty alleviation, and rural development.

The plan will focus on improving production and productivity, enhancing value addition, promoting market access, strengthening institutional and policy frameworks, enhancing human and institutional capacity, promoting research and development, and addressing climate change and environmental sustainability.

In recognizing the importance of the agriculture sector, the current government has made agriculture a top Deliberate Intervention Program, in the Medium Term Development Plan 4, 2023 to 2027.

The National Agriculture Sector Plan (NASP) 2024 to 2033 will provide a comprehensive roadmap that will guide the implementation of the MTDP4 aiming to increase production and export revenues, reduce food imports, improve farmers’ income, enhance food and nutrition security, and alleviate poverty.

The NASP will also play a crucial role in contributing to the government’s goal of growing the Papua New Guinea economy to K200 billion by 2030, as outlined in the (MTDP4) 2023 to 2027.

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