PNG Government Plans Agricultural ‘Revolution’

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Initiatives to improve access to capital to be announced soon

By Isaac Nicholas

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 27, 2015) – The Government has plans to revolutionise the agriculture sector amid concerns raised by Opposition Leader Don Polye over the multi-million kina Sepik Plains oil palm project in East Sepik Province.

"We are going to revolutionised agriculture. Shortly we will be announcing initiatives in the agriculture industry that will revolutionise financing because lack of access of capital is now lacking progress in the development of agriculture," Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told Parliament yesterday.

"Because Papua New Guineans and big investors cannot have access to credit, we are addressing that issue at present and we will announce the policy shortly to build agriculture."

The Prime Minister was responding during Question Time to Mr Polye who wanted Mr O’Neill to explain the K50 million released for the Sepik Plain Agro Industry project which he claimed has been embezzled and misused.

PM O’Neill said embezzled and misappropriation were serious allegations and Mr Polye had to be careful on what he said because he was making direct imputations that people had misused and stolen money.

He said Mr Polye when he was Treasurer released that funding for the agro project in the Sepik Plains and was well versed with the project and there was nothing sinister about it.

"We invest a substantial amount of money in the Sepik Plains because we can build infrastructure. No investor will go into such a difficult area if there is roads, no power lines and I know for a fact that 65 kilometres of road have been built, power lines are on the way into the project area where palm oil will be grown in the Plains of Sepik where a huge potential is there," Mr O’Neill said.

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