By Fidelis Sukina – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Pests and disease continue to plague crops and livestock in Papua New Guinea, but it is manageable to local farmers.
However if the pests and diseases are brought in from overseas, its NAQIA the Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Agency that’s has to be in the forefront to contain and eradicate the threat.
But NAQIA a government organization still does not have adequate government funding.
NAQIA has been receiving little to no funding for quite awhile from the National Government.
NAQIA Managing Director Joel Alu told EMTV News that NAQIA received no funding from the government in 2017 and this year (2018).
He says for next year they have been funded with only K2 million and K8 million for salary and wages.
“What do you do with K2 million? Nothings,” says Alu.
Because NAQIA’s work is of grave importance to the Agricultural sector in PNG, they need all the money to protect PNG from biological threats.
“We are at the front ensuring that we defend our country from biological forces and we will continue to do it,” says Alu.
It is thanks to their internal fees and charges that they remain strong in protecting the Agriculture sector in PNG.
But despite the internal revenue they generate, a considerable amount of their funds are frozen, adding to their woes.
“we have money in our accounts, but half of the money has been frozen at the moment,” says Mr Alu.
He added that Finance has held back the money but that did not stop NAQIA in carrying our its work in the country.
Director Alu says they continue to manage what they have to continue protecting the agricultural sector in PNG.