Prime Minister Marape Sets Ambitious Goals for Papua New Guinea’s Agriculture Sector

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today emphasised the significant role of the agriculture sector in achieving economic milestones outlined in the Medium-Term Development Plan (MTDP) IV for 2023-2027. He said this during the closing ceremony of the two-day Department of Agriculture and Subsector Agencies Meeting.

The event, held in Port Moresby, saw the presence of key figures including Agriculture Minister Hon. John Boito, Oil Palm Minister Hon. Francis Maneke, and Agriculture Secretary Dr. Sergie Bang, alongside leaders from various agricultural commodity boards.

Prime Minister Marape conveyed the sector’s critical economic targets: “You have a sectoral target of K30 billion to the growth of our economy by 2027, in line with MTDP IV.”

Highlighting the consequences of not meeting these goals, he added, “If, in four years, you have not contributed to growing the economy by K30 billion, then you have wasted Papua New Guinea’s time and the occupation you are holding today.”

The Prime Minister underscored the potential for agricultural activities to help create up to one million jobs by 2027: “Agriculture can mobilise the one million people envisaged by MTDP IV in pursuing economic activities.”

Addressing the differing perspectives on employment, Prime Minister Marape contrasted the Western view with his administration’s approach: “The Western mindset of creating jobs is someone in a paid designation. Papua New Guinea’s mindset, especially my government’s mindset, is creating economic activities,” he stated.

He further criticised the opposition’s limited view of employment: “The Opposition’s proposed alternate prime minister’s view of a job is someone behind a desk.”

Asserting the agriculture sector’s pivotal role in national development, Prime Minister Marape expressed his expectations: “By the end of this year, I’ll be asking all of you to give me statistics of how much you have produced in your sector.”

He spoke with optimism about the advantages of Papua New Guinea in agriculture with its people already being seasoned practitioners of agriculture, these people own land which can be used for commercial agriculture, it has provincial governments in all provinces, and has a National Government that is very supportive of agriculture.

“All your stars are aligned today,” Prime Minister Marape told the agriculture leaders. “Resource should not be an issue.

“You have the policies so allow the private sector to come into this space.”