Thursday 9 July 2020
The Government has transferred K165.5 million to all 89 districts to progress development of agriculture and small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
Each district will receive K1 million for agriculture and K500, 000 for SMEs.
Prime Minister James Marape said this in Goroka yesterday when launching the Coffee Industry Corporation’s (CIC) ‘National Coffee Development Roadmap 2020-2030’ and ‘Strategic Business Plan 2020-2024’.
“I am not just talking. This week, we transferred K165.5 million to all districts and provinces.”
Prime Minister Marape is seriously encouraging people who are wandering aimlessly in Port Moresby to go back home.
He urged those without homes and jobs in Port Moresby to return to their respective villages and participate in coffee and agriculture projects.
“This is not money for the MPs: We have transferred K1 million especially for agriculture and K500, 000 for SMEs.
He further encouraged those who need small seed capital to request assistance from their respective MPs.
Meanwhile, the initial K200, 000 earmarked for agriculture and SMEs will be released after details of how the money will be distributed to National Development Bank, Kina Bank and Bank of South Pacific are finalised
Mr Marape added that the Government would remove all impediments hindering the progress of Papua New Guinea’s coffee industry to increase production.
“Government will remove all impediments, including politics in the industry, for the industry to stand alone and grow to the next level.
“If you know of any impediments that are there, whether you are a grower, a buyer, exporter, or a regulator like CIC, let us know.
“Me and my colleague Ministers will try our absolute best to remove impediments that stop coffee industry, as well as other agriculture industries, from moving forward.”
Prime Minister Marape assured coffee industry players that the Government would also, stabilise prices to ensure the best deal for growers in the 89 districts; build enabling infrastructure to access areas of coffee, agriculture and small to medium enterprises (SMEs); create credit facilities with banks for agriculture SMEs which include coffee; introduce freight subsidy for ease to markets; assist traditional landowners to have easy access to register land for coffee businesses; and establish a National Export Agency to find markets for coffee and other agriculture commodities.
Prime Minister Marape stressed that coffee, and the whole agriculture sector, should be seen as business and urged everyone involved to work hard.
“My Government does not encourage laziness, we want to encourage hard work.
“The job of Government, and the districts, is to supply seedlings and capital to get people back to the land.”
Mr Marape said Papua New Guineans were among the first agriculturalists in the world, as exemplified by Kuk in Western Highlands, and this should continue.
“You don’t need a degree to go into coffee or go into agriculture,” Prime Minister Marape said.