The National Government is offering financial incentives to people participating fully in agricultural activities in Pomio District, East New Britain Province.

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape announced this package at Palmalmal during the launch of the district’s second passenger and cargo vessel, MV Pomio 2.

He highlighted this was to mobilise job creation by encouraging people to get into agricultural activities such as growing oil palm and cocoa.

“The first half of K2 million is support towards maintaining MV Pomio 2 where buyers can easily get around to buy agricultural produce from local people at higher price.

“Our government has the freight subsidy and price support programs to ensure money stays back in the community and peoples’ pockets.

“We want the people to sell their produce at a higher price here in Pomio than taking their produce and selling at a lower price in Rabaul, Kokopo or elsewhere,” said Prime Minister Marape.

The ship, MV Pomio 2, will be transporting passengers, cargo, goods, and services, including agricultural produce from the district.

Prime Minister Marape said the funding is part of the National Government’s freight subsidy and price support. This is to promote small to medium enterprises to enable the growth of local economy through the creation of employment and putting money into the hands of the people.

The remaining K2 million will go towards supporting the vessel in freight subsidy.

“I appeal to you, the people of Pomio, to get into productive activities like fishing, agriculture, and cocoa production.

“We need to promote our district and community by growing our local economy by selling your produce in the markets,” he said.

Prime Minister Marape said to ensure a continuous and efficient service, the National Government will help build a jetty to complement the shipping service.

“I want to urge and also appeal to Member Hon. Elias Kapavore to do a proper scoping and feasibility study to determine how much it will cost to build a good jetty,” said Prime Minister Marape.

The National Government has also requested Pomio District to do a feasibility study to construct a building that will serve as storage facility and a temporary waiting area for passengers.

“The building can store your people’s agricultural produce and also serve as a transit accommodation for the people waiting for the ship to go to either Rabaul, Kokopo and or other provinces.

‘Your government is looking forward to assisting your district on this,” he said.