Revitalizing PNG’s Rice Industry: A New Chapter Begins

By Malum Nalu – Port Moresby

In a significant move to ensure the future of Papua New Guinea’s rice industry does not echo the unfulfilled promises of the past, Hon. John Boito, the Agriculture Minister, emphasized the importance of rice production agreements becoming a reality during last night’s signing ceremony between the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI). Rice production comes under the Marape Government’s vision for agricultural development.
“For too long, the potential for a thriving rice industry in PNG has been a topic of discussion without fruition since 1975. This time, it must be different; it must become a reality,” declared Minister Boito, stressing the importance of moving beyond dialogue to tangible action.
The ceremony was attended by key figures in agriculture, including Agriculture Secretary Dr. Sergie Bang, a staunch advocate for establishing a rice industry in PNG, and a former Director General of NARI. The agreement, signed by Dr. Ajay Kohli, Interim Director General of IRRI, and Dr. Nelson Simbiken, Director General of NARI, sets the stage for a collaborative effort to bolster rice research and development initiatives in the country.
This partnership is poised to explore and implement innovative agricultural practices and technologies to lay the groundwork for a sustainable and prosperous rice industry in PNG. The agreement signifies a commitment to overcoming the challenges of the past through cooperation, research, and the shared goal of enhancing PNG’s agricultural landscape.

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