Prime Minister Marape Launches National Agriculture Sector Plan(NASP) 2024 – 2033 in Port Moresby

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today launched the National Agriculture Sector Plan (NASP) 2024 – 2033, emphasising the importance of employment creation through agriculture in Papua New Guinea.

Prime Minister Marape stated that agriculture has been a core part of the Pangu Party’s policy framework, dating back to PNG’s Independence in 1975. He highlighted that the party, then led by the founding father Late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, prioritised agriculture to contribute towards the country’s economic growth. The government at that time implemented policies to ensure people maintained their rights to their traditional land, a policy still upheld today by the current Pangu-led Government, which is determined to encourage Papua New Guineans to lease their land for commercial agriculture.

The Prime Minister underscored the importance of three fundamental human needs: food, water, and energy. He noted that Papua New Guinea is fortunate to possess these resources in abundance, and proper utilisation could bring significant benefits.

Prime Minister Marape stated: “Land is a valuable resource that is available to Papua New Guineans, which puts us at a significant advantage over other people around the world, especially those who do not have much land or other resources to work with.

“God has blessed this nation abundantly with richness in land suitable for agricultural produce and livestock that can be transformed from subsistence farming to commercial farming or land use for employment creation and improvement in quality of life, thus enabling growth in a robust, sustainable economy into the future.”

He added: “Some may be wondering how me and my government will create the one million jobs that we’ve been talking about. In fact, those one million people are already into some form of farming but in a subsistence way. We want to transform that into commercial farming or to empower them to become commercial entrepreneurs.”

The NASP 2024 – 2033 aims to create opportunities for all, including youth and women, and to improve the quality of life in rural villages, transforming them into economically vibrant communities.

Prime Minister Marape announced the Government’s intention to provide funding support of up to K1 billion for the NASP 2024 – 2033. He urged all districts and provinces across the country to develop land for agriculture.

“God’s first instruction to humanity was to be involved in agriculture and also livestock eventually. We find this in Genesis 2:15 in the Bible. This was before sin came into this world, which is found later in Genesis 3. So, if the Creator of this world instructs us to work the land and get involved in agriculture for our sustenance, this is something for us to take seriously. Jobs can be easily created through the agriculture sector.

“Let’s unbundle what our people have on their land. Apart from the National Capital District, which doesn’t really have land for agriculture development, the rest of the 21 provinces must develop their land for agricultural use. Find me land which you can lease to the government for commercial agriculture. People doing nothing productive in their lives can be transformed to leading more productive lives where they can have financial independence and security,” added the Prime Minister.