By Stanley Ove Jnr. – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Agriculture projects in East and West Sepik have a huge potential to contribute to the growth of the economy.
East Sepik Governor Allan Bird said as the Government is pushing to diversify the economy, agriculture remains its backbone and its time the Sepik Region gets the support to start major projects. The Governor made this remarks to Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, in a recent event in Wewak.
“We the Sepiks, both East and West, are hardworking people, give us the seeds and we will plant it and it will bear fruits. We have the Sepik plains, our landowners and people are ready to work, all we need is the Government’s support,” Governor Bird said.
Similar sentiments were shared by National Planning Minister Richard Maru, however; he called on all political leaders in the two provinces to work together.
“The Sepik Region can be the next economic powerhouse of the country, we have the potential but we need to put politics aside and work with the Government to deliver these projects,” Maru said.
Responding to Governor Bird, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the National Government has completed an agreement and have made equity payments to Israeli Company Innovative Agro Industries to start work in the Sepik Plains.
“The Government is prioritizing the Sepik Plains. The Israeli company will come in to develop a major poultry farm, cocoa, and grain. It will not stop there; we will go in further with oil palm and other commodities,” O’Neill said.
There are currently a number of large-scale agriculture projects developing in both East and West Sepik. Once these projects start exporting, it is estimated to generate revenue for the country in the millions.