THE National Government’s National Agriculture Development Plan (NADP) has come under fire at a development forum in Parliament today.
A number of speakers at the Consultative Implementation Monitoring Committee (CIMC) forum questioned where the funds for NADP in the last two years were and what the programme had achieved.
Former Department of Agriculture and Livestock Mathew Wela Kanua fired a broadside at the NADP as well as the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, which he formerly headed, saying that it should be abolished.
In a no-holds barred comment at the CIMC forum, Mr Kanua said it was the overwhelming feeling of the agriculture sector that it was getting nowhere, despite the massive K1 billion to be poured into the NADP over the next 10 years at K100 million annually.
Mr Kanua, who was outspoken in his fight against corruption at DAL during his tenure as secretary, also bluntly told the forum that the DAL should be abolished as it was unproductive.
“It is worrying and it is sad that we are getting nowhere,” Mr Kanua said.
“It seems to be an overwhelming concern from the agriculture sector that we are getting nowhere.
“What are we going to show for the K1 billion?
“What are we going to have in 10 years time to show for it?”
Mr Kanua, who is now employed by PNG Sustainable Development Program, said this money should be spent in partnership with the private sector to grow agriculture in PNG.
“That was the reason why we created the National Agriculture Development Plan,” he said.
“When I left the department, I said that it should be closed, because it was completely incapable.”
Australia-PNG Business Council president and Trukai Industries managing director Phil Franklin, who spoke at the forum, also spoke of PNG farmers not feeling the impact of the NADP.
“Farmers in PNG are like farmers anywhere in the world,” he said.
“They want to have money in their back pocket.”
He said the NADP was a very good concept which would combine government and private partners in developing the agriculture sector, but people are now wondering that had become of it.