By SENIORL ANZU of NARI
A prominent agricultural scientist who has spent his entire professional life in
for over three decades has been recognised for his contributions
towards agricultural development in the country. Papua New Guinea
He is Dr John Edwin Moxon, a senior National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) scientist based at Keravat at the Lowlands Agricultural Experiment Station (LAES).
Dr John Moxon receives a gift from a staff member for his long service to LAES Keravat during its 80th anniversary in 2008
Dr Moxon was among those listed on Queen’s Birthday award list last month.
He will be awarded the Commander of British Empire (CBE) for services to agriculture and to NARI in particular.
The award will be conveyed on July 12.
Dr Moxon is a household name in the
Peninsula and Rabaul areas of East New Britain. Currently, he is the man behind the
development of PNG’s galip nut industry.
This is a new innovation in the making, promising to become a lucrative revenue and income earner for Papua New Guineans for many years to come once the industry gets into full swing. Galip is valued at around US$300 million industry at the world market and grows only in PNG,
Islands and . Vanuatu
Dr Moxon, 58, from
Yorkshire, England, first arrived in the country in 1980 as
a young agriculturalist straight after his PhD in Entomology from the Royal Holloway
University of London
Upon recruitment by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, his first posting was in East New Britain at LAES, a place he has lived and worked ever since.
He started as an entomologist, dealing with pests and diseases of a range of food and tree crops. He led a team of scientists, both expatriates and nationals, in various capacities, including as LAES team leader 1986-1993 with major responsibilities in scientific and administrative management of the farming systems research programme for the wet lowlands of PNG.
From 1993 to 2000, Dr Moxon worked with the PNG Cocoa and Coconut Research Institute (now PNG Cocoa Coconut Institute) as its chief executive officer.
His work on cocoa resulted in scientific development and commercial release of the first hybrid cocoa clones for PNG now commercially achieving four tonnes dry bean cocoa per hectare, arguably amongst the best-available in the world.
After PNGCCI, Dr Moxon returned to LAES in 2000, this time under NARI as the research programme leader, a job he has held to this date, taking leadership in scientific research for development, focusing on food and cash crop research for food security and income generation for the wet lowlands areas of PNG.
He continues to contribute to the cocoa industry, especially towards the cocoa pod borer pest through strategic management and crop diversification programs.
In 1993, Dr Moxon received a certificate of service from the Government of PNG.
He is married to Wendy from Nonga village in
East New Britain
province and has three children.