Phillip Ukuni| The National | Letters | 24.08.2023
Agriculture way forward to minimize law and order issues.
The above heading is one of the dailies by the Agriculture Minister during his recent visit to East New Britain to carry awareness on the coca and cocoa production hosted by Coca Board of Papua New Guinea is spot on in addressing lawlessness, unemployment, economic well-being and prosperity for our citizens.
Agriculture has been the backbone of PNG since time immemorial up to the present and beyond. There is evidence of agricultural activities in PNG some 10,000 years ago when most ethnic groups or cultural people around the world lived a nomadic lifestyle.
We have the Kuk World Heritage recognized site in Western Highlands to prove this point. There is also another site in Western Highlands at Yuku Rocks Shelters in Baiyer River, where evidence of plant pollen cells which harden fossils have been discovered.
Agriculture is in the “blood veins and DNA” of any indigenous Papua New Guinean.
We are a descendent of the first few generations of indigenous parents educated and the majority of second or third generations well educated in modern science, agriculture commerce, mathematics, law, environmental law, and the list goes on,
What is wrong with this generation in converting your God-given knowledge for the betterment of your country starting with your local ward area, district, and province by venturing into agriculture instead of congregating around urban centers with your high qualifications hoping that a suitable job can be found, searching in vain for years.
About 96 percent of land in PNG is customarily owned.
This means every Papua New Guinean comes from a cultural group that owned at least some portion of free land majority bigger portions inherited through family or tribal lineage over years of settlement.
As a school lever, swallow your pride, be humbled, stop boasting, and be self-seeking, pretentious, and seek your current MP's assistance and work with him, not devising thoughts to challenge him directly or indirectly, he is already there for you.
You try approaching him with agriculture projects back home and if he does not respond positively at least you have proven what type of leader he or she is.
The government should work to formulate and design a workable solution in agriculture with incentives to implement the programs and put funding where the mouth is.
It starts with the 96 MPs and the 22 governors.
These leaders have to be educated on agriculture development and its implications and the spillover effects on the citizens.
If they (leaders) lack this foresight and innovative thinking good preaching and policies are as good as “raindrops falling on taro leaves”.
You don’t speak on agriculture, buy tools, build sheds in districts, organize human labor (school leavers), or provide incentives and this will cut down rural-urban migration and get youths directly involved in agriculture.
The government through the recently passed Public Private Partnership (PPP) Act can step in with economic enablers like energy, roads, water, farm equipment, and buildings, and technical field officers on modern farming and the agriculture sector would naturally take off at an unimaginable rate.