The run-down Illimo farm outside Port Moresby will be turned into a dairy farm at a cost of K90 million.
The National Executive Council (NEC) has recently approved a joint venture partnership with an Israeli group to develop the farm and an agro-industry project in the Morobe Province.
According to a statement released from the office of the Prime Minister, the joint venture agreement calls for the PNG government and the LR Group from Israel to immediately develop a dairy and production project at the Illimo farm in the Central province, and an agro industry project in the Morobe Province.
LR Group is also responsible for developing the hydroponic project at 9mile.
Cabinet has appointed the State Project team under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary with representatives from the Departments of the Prime Minister and the NEC, Treasury, National Planning, Attorney General, Health, Agriculture and Livestock and the Central and Morobe provincial governments to oversee, negotiate and facilitate the development and implementation of these two projects.
Mr O’Neill said although past governments have come up with policy statements, development plans and funding commitments towards the agriculture sector, no real change has taken place in the sector.
He said Israel was a global leader in agriculture innovation and food security with the LR Group at the forefront of the country’s advancement in this sector.
He is therefore confident that the partnership will unlock PNG’s real potential in the sector and grow this sector for the economy, which will provide opportunities for the people beyond other sectors.
Prime Minister O’Neill said the government will establish close consultations with both the Central and Morobe provincial governments to develop these initiatives.
These projects have also been included in the government’s Public Investment Program for 2014 to 2017.
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