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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 4, 2001 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Papua New Guinea's development is not reflective of the years of agriculture research that has been carried out, Sir Alkan Tololo said.

Speaking at the opening of the National Agricultural Consultation Workshop in Lae, National Agriculture Research Institute Chairman Tololo said one did not have to look far to realize that development policies are not reflective of years of research by organizations in agricultural development.

However, he was adamant this would all change by the end of the three-day workshop, organized by the institute to gauge the views of all stakeholders interested in the development of agriculture.

"We have developed a tool in NARI in collaboration with the Australian Center for International Agriculture Research and started a process internally of planning and prioritizing research. However, that system cannot work in isolation of the real issues on the ground in PNG and that is where you stakeholders have a very important role to play.

"You are the ones in the reality of situations and conditions in different parts of PNG and in different areas of agriculture activity in the country and your experience will bring the reality check NARI needs to plan and prioritize research.

"As a science and knowledge based organization, it is part of our ethos and culture to uphold technical standards, but our existence as an organization in PNG and in the world of science and research is dependent on the mutual outcome of our work and that is the key thrust of this national consultation."

More than 100 participants, from small farmers to directors of major agricultural research institutes, attended the workshop.

The consultation was organized to assess national priorities for agriculture research; develop broad agricultural research strategies; develop a shared understanding of priorities and strategies for agricultural research across participating organizations; take stock of research development resources; identify funding, support and collaboration; and implement strategies.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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