By Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Enga Provincial Government has agreed to work together with an Israeli company to establish an Agro Industrial Services and Training Centre at Sirunki, Enga Province.
The Project is focused on engaging smallholders in growing food crops and creating wealth.
Enga Governor, Sir Peter Ipatas, said it is going to be a 50-50 shareholding agreement with Innovative Agro-Industry Limited.
Enga Provincial Government and Innovative Agro-Industry Limited today signed the deed of agreement to incorporate a Joint Venture Company.
Through this Joint Venture, they will establish an Agro Industrial Services and Training Centre at Sirunki, Enga Province. It will provide training, and supply seeds, fertilisers and equipment that will service the smallholders. It will also comprise of a storage, packing and distribution centre.
Enga Governor, Sir Peter Ipatas said, “We want to participate in agriculture and give the people an opportunity to grow produce. And of course with Israelis coming with their expertise and the management, we’ll be able to market our produce and that’s the most important thing.”
Sir Peter added that they had been working on the project for the last three years.
He thanked the National Government and especially Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, for putting up the counterpart funding enabling the Enga Provincial Government to participate in the Joint Venture Project.
“What you are seeing now is an opportunity for the small people to have a means of income. It’s a project that will keep them in their own environment, in their own homes. They don’t have to go anywhere looking for jobs. They have a job already being farmers on their own land and they will make money at home,” said Sir Ipatas.
In the meantime, also as part of the Agro-Industrial Services Project, the EPG is also setting up an Enga Microbank.
The Microbank will start to give loans of up to K5,000 to smallholder farmers who engage in agriculture.