By Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby
Deputy Prime Minster, Leo Dion, says the Agriculture and Livestock Department has received support from food and agriculture companies to formulate a new ‘food security policy’.
This policy will emphasise the importance of growing quality and staple food and strengthening the implementation programs of food security in PNG.
Mr Dion made this announcement at the 11th Meeting of the Southwest Pacific Ministries of Agriculture in Port Moresby, this morning.
The agriculture sector in Papua New Guinea has shifted in the last two decades with subsistence farmers now producing fresh produce and going into cattle farming, for profits.
But while the government is now encouraging local producers to increase their produce, it is also looking at new avenues to ensure the food grown is healthy.
One of such, is the formation of the new food security policy.
Food security has been a major topic discussed through a number of meetings this year.
During the 2015 World Food Day celebrations in Port Moresby, Health Secretary, Pascoe Kase, and World Health Organisation Representative, Dr Peiter Van Marren, emphasised the need to prepare food in a clean environment.
At the meeting today, Deputy Prime Minister, Leo Dion, said the lack of food storage dominates food security concerns in many Pacific Island countries including PNG.
Thus, the government needs to intervene because of the seriousness of food security particular in remote communities.
The policy, Food Security 2016 -2025, will address how the change in climate has affected the production of fresh goods and adaption measures the Agriculture and Livestock Department plans to use in Pacific Island Countries.
It will also enhance PNG’s participation to food security at a national and regional level.