Dr Sim Sar retires after 20 years

Dr Sim Sar is one of the few entomologists in the Papua New Guinea agricultural sector.

He studied at the University of Queensland on a John Allwright Fellowship from 2008 to 2011 after studying at UPNG.

This study contributed to a possible biological control for the sweetpotato weevil.

Before joining NARI he worked with the Biology Department at the University of Papua New Guinea and Department of Agriculture Livestock.

Dr Sar joined NARI on January 15, 2001 and held various roles with NARI including information research coordinator in 2004; principal scientist 2010-2011; programme director agriculture systems 2012-2016; programme director information and knowledge 2016-2019 and special projects officer 2019-2021.

He has been involved in projects including the PNG Incentive Fund solar rice mill pilot project in Morobe and entomology work in the country and region.

The solar rice mill pilot project is part of the PNG Australian government partnership through the PNG Incentive Fund program which aims to boost food security, improve rural livelihoods through the use of solar powered technologies, and create market linkages in Morobe province.

The 9 districts of Morobe benefited from the roll out of the solar rice mills.

Dr Sar is not an outspoken person, preferring to get more work being done than talking.

The recent invasion of the Fall Army Worm (FAW) caused significant damage to a lot of mono crop farms within South East Asia and to neighboring countries especially Australia.

Through Dr Sar, NARI provided support to the National Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Authority through relevant awareness on what FAW is capable of and how to minimise its spread.

He had also been involved in preventing the outbreak of a locust infestation in the Markham District soon after the 1997 El Nino.

Dr Sar believes that there should be more interaction with farmers in order to understand issues they face and be able to find possible solutions to improve agricultural practices.

He is happily married to Lilly from Western province with three wonderful children.

Dr Sar announced during a farewell gathering that he has plans of doing church work after retirement.

He was among three others who retired in late 2020.

The others are Monica Mazi, Pascal Pandau and Andrew Darlie.

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