Category Archives: Farming

Pacific Tuna Forum – O’Neill speech

 

At the 6th Pacific Tuna Forum

 

Under the theme:

“Fostering Greater Social, Economic and Financial Benefits – Through Sustainable Management and Development of Tuna Resources”

 

13 September 2017

 

Good Morning,

 

It is a pleasure for Papua New Guinea to host this very prestigious 6th Pacific Tuna Forum.

 

Tuna is indeed the natural resource that binds the peoples and Governments of the Pacific Islands together.

 

Tuna is also the major revenue earner for many of our Governments in the Pacific, and for some, it is their single source of revenue.

 

The importance placed on this resource cannot be overstated.

 

Even back in the 1970s, one of the main policy agendas of many Governments was co-operation together to manage their tuna resources.

 

This bi-annual Pacific Tuna Forum is an initiative of the Papua New Guinea Government, through the National Fisheries Authority, when it was first held here in 2007.

 

Today, it is held in Partnership with INFO-FISH, and our Regional Fisheries Management Organizations.

 

This 3rd forum to be hosted in Papua New Guinea, and also includes the inaugural fishery technology expo that was held yesterday.

 

This forum is a premier tuna industry meeting in the Pacific region.

 

I welcome all policy makers, fishery managers, NGOs and industry leaders from around the world, who are with us here today.

 

The theme of this Forum, focusing on “Greater Social, Economic and Financial Benefits Through Sustainable Management” is very timely.

 

This theme also resonates quote well with the theme of the 48th Pacific Islands Forum in Apia last week, that very much focused on sustainable development, management and conservation of the Blue Pacific.

 

At the Leaders’ meetings in Apia, we urged the establishment and mainstreaming of regional Minimum Terms and Conditions in all areas of investment and development.

 

This includes a focus on the environment, and compliance across all marine sectors, particularly fisheries.

 

We are placing our support behind a number of initiatives and export standards.

 

This includes Competent Authorities and Catch Documentation Schemes in our region’s small Island economies.

 

As a region we have access to over 50 percent of world tuna supplies.

 

However, the major markets for tuna are not within our region.

 

Papua New Guinea, through the National Fisheries Authority, recognised the importance of expanding our markets.

 

We have established a Trade Lobby Committee which is comprised of both Government and industry representatives.

 

The aim of this committee is to explore and develop new markets.

 

We must be proactive, and go out and look for markets for our fisheries products if we are to have a viable industry into the future.

 

But Pacific Island Nations need to maintain focus on what we must do to ensure we have a viable fisheries sector for our children and their futures.

 

We are building upon the 2016 Forum Communique calling for all high seas bunkering of purse seiners – to be forced into our zones and under license.

 

As part of this, we must broaden this to include long line transhipping and bunkering operations.

 

We have to work together to further prevent illegal activities.

 

Building upon the success of PNA nations in managing the purse seine fishery, we further urge Small Island Nations to use their strength in number, for greater leverage on their interests and to safeguard the interests of our countries.

 

As Pacific Island States we need to steer our destiny in zone and in self-determination, and ensure benefits go to the people and economies.

 

We must do this rather than struggle with external dictates by those believing they have paternalistic rights to our fish and our waters.

 

Overall we need to strengthen Pacific solidarity in ensuring collective efforts for joint initiatives for improved ownership, participation and returns from the Blue Pacific.

 

This needs to be through specific initiatives in the sectors such as fishing, processing, transport, trade, and food security.

 

We can build upon the successes of our regional brand for niche products, and ensure that we have the right standards.

 

I urge that we ensure that our operators are provided with more opportunities and supported by the government in the sector.

 

This can be support through the development of partner funded initiatives, so we are not just seeing 100% foreign ventures promoted in these sectors throughout the region.

 

We need genuine joint ventures.

 

We also encourage PPP initiatives, especially in port services, processing and cold store infrastructure development.

 

In my view there is has great potential for our economies, particularly in port waste management for the sector, and this has the added benefit of helping to preserve the natural environment.

 

We need to develop more downstream processing and provide more spin-off business opportunities for our people.

 

All too often we see the tuna sector that is alienating itself from pour people, and particularly our SMEs.

 

We must create more opportunities so that is industry can continue to provide, more support for labour mobility, and making sure that there are more income-earning opportunities for our coastal communities throughout the Pacific Island Nations.

 

These untapped resources, and the opportunities that are available, must be accessed at sea and onshore.

 

Our Government today, is taking a stand against those non-preforming ventures.

 

We are now going to review over the next three months.

 

We are going to review many of these ventures, and the agreements that we have, because as I said at the Pacific Islands’ Forum last week.

 

For far too long in our region, we see ventures that continue to never make profits, Maurice Brown-John said in Apia last week, they never want to leave either.

 

That is why, enough-is-enough.

 

It is time to stop playing these kind of games.

 

It is important that benefits are shared equally, and fairly, so that our people benefit from the resources that they truly own.

 

Our Government is continuing to undertake the responsibility to continue to build good public infrastructure, and provide more training, and tax incentives that will continue to strengthen the industry as we have done in the past.

 

Papua New Guinea has subsidised this industry over the past decade, almost to the tune of almost 1 billion US Dollars.

 

This is by way of concessional fishing rights, in addition to many other generous concessions to the fishing industry.

 

But the reality this hardly adds to the production output that we have sought to achieve.

 

So we can ask where are the results from the investment that the country has been making?

 

We only see market share eroding, for example countries are having access to the markets that are usually reserved for countries like Papua New Guinea, where the tuna originates.

 

So in countries like Germany, they are achieving market share of close to 40 per cent, from exports that come from Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region.

 

This is unacceptable to countries like ours, because it erodes the market share for our people and our country.

 

That is why it is important that we go back and review some of the agreements, where we are not seeing processing plants that are not even running up to 75 per cent capacity that is required to hold a license in the industry.

 

We have a scenario where only 1 in 5 fish, that our Government has subsidised, is actually processed in Papua New Guinea.

 

Only 1 in 3, or even 1 in 4 jobs to process the catch are in Papua New Guinea.

 

In reality it means that almost 80% of the benefits from Papua New Guinea, are actually enjoyed by other countries.

 

That is why PNG flagged vessels, that fish our waters today, who enjoy the discounts, and yet have not landed a single fish to our processors in 2 years will be held to account.

 

This is simply not acceptable.

 

Our Government will implement changes.

 

They will make the review, and by 2018 I expect that this scenario will change.

 

We will increase rewards and support to direct to those who are genuine in the industry, who are genuine in wanting to process the fish in Papua New Guinea.

 

Let me state again, we welcome genuine investors, but those who are only here for cheap fishing are welcome to leave.

 

Our Government is committed to building the necessary support infrastructure.

 

We will create facilities so that fishing men and women, and processors are able to bring fish into ports in a timely manner, can process them at a reasonable cost.

 

We are exploring funding options for the Wagang Port, a dedicated fisheries port in Lae.

 

We want this critical infrastructure to commence construction soon.

 

As many of you will know the Government of Papua New Guinea proposed the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang as a regional tuna processing hub.

 

We will continue to pursue this project.

 

There is no easy way and there are no shortcuts in building a truly robust and competitive fisheries industry together.

 

We need to build competitiveness by increasing productivity and reducing costs of production.

 

During this term of Government, the policies and the achievements of the PNG fisheries sector will be measured against the regional benchmark.

 

This will be as outlined in the regional roadmap for sustainable fisheries.

 

We will continue to pursue onshore investment so that we can support these policies, and work with processors towards meeting their processing capacities.

 

Our Government is committed to making this happen, and will work with all stakeholders, especially our locally based fishing and processing industries.

 

We have the greatest potential in our tuna industry.

 

And together we will build a fairer, sustainable and more profitable tuna sector.

 

I wish you all a successful, informative and productive forum and an enjoyable stay in Papua New Guinea.

 

I now declare open – the 06th Pacific Tuna Forum 2017.

 

Thank you.

Prime Minister – Peter O’Neill

Sepik Plains Agro Project Prioritised in 100-day Plan

By : The National

THE K100 million Sepik Plains Special Economic Zone will be a priority in the Government’s 100-day economic recovery plan.

“We will work with National Planning Minister Richard Maru to develop that agro industrial project within 100 days,” Agriculture and Livestock Minister Benny Allan said.

“There will also be a ban on the importation of uncooked poultry products.

“There will also be a review of the quota mechanism sought by the Central Commercial Rice Farming project by the state solicitor.”

The Sepik agro industrial project was launched by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in Yangoru last June.

It will be on a 500-hectare land acquired by the State in the 1970s.

Several projects are planned there, including the Sepik Chicken Grain and Cocoa Innovation project, and the Yangoru water and power supply.

Allan said the Central rice project developer had set a quota which the State felt should be reviewed.

“The prime minister had given direction to my predecessor (Tommy Tomscoll) to look at the quota and report back to the secretary and to Cabinet,” he said.

“We also want those rice suppliers already in the country to reduce the quota.

“They must plant rice and increase production.

“They must reduce imports.”

K50,000 for youths to start businesses

August 30, 2017

Source: The National

THE Nipa-Kutubu district development authority (DDA) will provide seed capital to assist youths in small businesses.

Nipa-Kutubu MP and DDA chairman Jeffery Komal said as part of his election promise, the DDA would allocate K50,000 as  capital to start  community-based projects beginning with groups that met set requirements.

“Whether you voted for me or not, I am here to provide vital services that will have positive impact on people’s lives,” Komal said.

“People must learn to appreciate services rather than putting up roadblocks and hindering development.”

He said all recipients of the funds would undergo skills training from the commerce and agriculture and livestock divisions and other relevant partners in the district and province.

Komal said he wanted to see youths engaging their time being productive rather than in criminal activities that would cost their lives.

Highlands Honey producers doing well

BY RIODAN BEGUSHAR

Highlands Honey, a subsidiary of the New Guinea fruits company based in Goroka is focused on helping farmers increase production on a larger scale.

This was revealed by extension officer of Highlands Honey Solomon Loie in Lae, saying providing bee farmers with equipment, bee boxes allowances and working with the them in Goroka would achieve the elevated status.

“We at Highlands Honey provide bee farmers with technical advice and equipment,” he said.

Mr Loie said they provide advice on how to manage hives, transportation and provide them with bee boxes.

He said Oxfam Pacific International provided fuding and materials to continue work with the farmers.

“We receive funds from Oxfam PNG to support local bee farmers to produce honey, the farmers then sell the honey to us and we bottle them and market them out in shops,” he said.

“While working with bee farmers we stress more on quality and quantity, that is make them produce best and sweat honey at larger amounts.”

He said in Goroka they have two major honey producers, the Highlands Honey and the Helping Hands Honey producers.

“We the honey producers based in Goroka partner with Oxfam PNG to increase the work of bee farming in Goroka and other centers of the highlands region, since highlands climate is suitable to farm bees,” he said.

“The funds given to us by Oxfam is all directed towards helping the farmers by providing fuel for transportation, boxes or hives for honey and allowance for farmers, not only practical equipments but we also provide training and bee farming lessons for the farmers.”

Owner and founder of Helping Hands Honey Producers Kelly Phanta Inae added that their main aim is to develop the honey industry in Papua New Guinea.

“We have started the bee farming in 2006, and had produce honey at small scale, but after partnering with Oxfam PNG the standard as rose, more famers have been recruited and bee producing in Goroka is increasing,” Mr Inae said.

Morobe expected to produce 10,000 tonnes of cocoa: Ningi

August 22, 2017
Source: Post Courier

MOROBE expects to produce 10,000 tonnes of cocoa by 2020 when the 300,000 seedlings being planted are harvested, PNG Cocoa Board regional manager Anton Ningi says.

 

Ningi said the trend was 800 tonnes per year. Between September 2015 and September 2016, this increased to 5000 tonnes with Morobe supplying 83,000 bags.

 

However, the production is likely to drop by 20 to 30 per cent in 2017 because of the heavy rain and farmers engaged by the general election.

 

The Cocoa Board is distributing 80,000 seedlings in the Waria local level government beginning at Omora.

 

The other established sites are at Wasu, Siassi, Finschhafen, Labuta, Morobe Post, Lower Watut and Markham.

 

Ningi attended the loading of K100,000 worth of tools including wheel barrows, spades, forks, shed cloths, poly bags and two chainsaws for farmers in Waria on Thursday.

 

“We are encouraging cocoa and coffee with trainings conducted on both crops,” Ningi said.

 

We are still devising methods on how to revive tea production as well.

 

“There is a huge potential in the Waria Valley and we are thankful to chief executive Boto Gaupu for the support in enhancing the rural economy which is in line with Bulolo MP Sam Basil’s aspirations.”

Reviving plantations priority for industry

August 21, 2017

Source: The National

TRADE, Commerce and Industry Minister Wera Mori says the department aims to revive plantations to be managed by family units.

 
Mori met with department officials, staff of the Investment Promotion Authority, small to medium enterprise corporation and corporative society division last Thursday for a briefing.

 
He said the Alotau Accord Two focused on economy recovery as a priority.

 
“It is incumbent on us to make sure we have appropriate policies to stimulate investment in the country,” he said.

 
Mori said this idea was important because as a consequence of the demise of plantations over the last 30 to 35 years.

 
“The country had lost valuable revenue.

 
“Plantations whether it be coffee, cocoa or coconut will be managed under estate-type management,” he said.

 
“A plantation will be divided into portions of two or three hectares and given to family groups.

 
“Each family group to own one unit where we might see a plantation with 10 or 15 units.

 
“Other plantations with 20 or 30 units and they will come under the auspicious of a corporate society and will be managed that way with a central processing plant.

 
“Under this arrangement, it will be able to address many of the problems that have been faced in the past.

 
“They will be managed by national management companies.”

Farmers welcome MP’s decision to improve district roads

August 21, 2017
Source: The National

PEANUT growers from Jimi in Jiwaka have applauded MP Wake Goi for his commitment to improve the road network in the district.

 
Wake announced last week that he would make it a priority to improve all roads in Jimi in his first three years in parliament.

 
He said the Jimi district development authority (DDA) would try all means and ways to ensure the Banz to Karap, Karap to Kol, Karap to Tabibuga and Tabibuga to Koinambe roads were sealed to make the district accessible to the outside world.

 
Simon Mare, from Por village in Middle Jimi, said it was good news for the people in the rugged district who had put up with bad poor roads for so long.

 
He told The National that if Jimi was to catch up with the rest of PNG, roads should be the priority development agenda.

 
“I thank the MP for his insight to improve this key infrastructure. When the roads are in top condition, all other development aspirations fall in line,” Mare said.

 
“Jimi has been in the dark since independence. If this government is for the people and by the people, it’s time we see some changes.”

 
Goi assured the people of Jimi that he and his team of district public servants would work hard to fulfil their expectations.

 
“The roadwork will start right away. We have filled up fuel and are ready to roll,” he said before a cheering crowd.

 
Mare said that almost every Jimian was a peanut grower. Most farmers switched from coffee to peanuts, he said.

 
Peanut buyers John Okul and Peter Kaiye from Banz claimed that Jimi had the potential for a peanut butter factory.

 
“We see the challenges the growers go through. It’s a good move by the MP. Jimi can become the powerhouse of Jiwaka if roads are made better,” Kaiye said.

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