Via The National, August 15, 2012
By Pisai Gumar
SMALL scale agricultural activities remain the cornerstone of the livelihood of rural people but not enough is being done to improve the capability to produce quality crops and increase production, a farmer says.
Poro Co-operative Society chairman Solomon Dumuk said provincial, district and local council agricultural agencies lacked proper mechanisms to realign their programmes with local cash crop growers.
Dumuk, from Bang village, Astrolabe Bay, Madang, said the lack of technical know-how to help farmers improve and increase production had been the main problem over the years.
“The issue is manifold involving agricultural agencies, political will of local MPs to lead and drive the improvement of rural economy through transportation projects by enhancing provincial works division to improve roads, bridges and wharves,” he said.
Dumuk voiced concern after 136 cocoa growers contributed K125 each to start a cocoa export company after receiving no help from local MP, James Gau.
He said most of the cocoa, copra, coffee and tea were accessed by provincial roads.
But, he said, neither the provincial nor local level governments seemed to be taking care of maintenance of the roads and bridges. Cooperative secretary Nason Tu-um said they had the land and the crops.
“But how can we turn them into money is an issue.
“Importantly, we need agricultural technical knowledge and skills to enrich growers on ways of how to nurture and produce quality crops while government has to improve roads, bridges and wharves for us to move the products,” Tu-um said.