On Thursday, the PNG National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) will be commemorating 14 years of dedicated contribution to innovative agricultural development in the country through scientific research, knowledge creation and information exchange.
NARI has been in the forefront; promoting and undertaking agricultural research for sustainable development.
In a short span of 14 years, the institute has been recognised nationally and internationally as the lead research organisation of high development relevance to Papua New Guinea.
To commemorate its 14th anniversary, the institute is hosting an 'Agricultural Innovations Show' at the Sir Alkan Tololo Research Centre, 10 Mile – Bubia, outside Lae.
The event is organised around the theme "Investing in Innovative Agriculture for Prosperity".
The theme reaffirms NARI's view that progress through innovative agricultural development is essential if PNG is to realise Vision 2050 and become a wealthy and prosperous nation.
The nation has the need, great potential and vast opportunity to prosper through innovative agriculture, and hence the focus on investing in innovative agriculture.
The theme is in line with NARI's efforts to encouraging consistent investment in agriculture, particularly in research to develop technologies and innovations which are crucial agents in innovative agriculture and rural development.
With the economy projected to grow at 8.5 % and the LNG and other related projects coming on stream, PNG has a more-favourable environment and opportunities now than ever before for all stakeholders to make positive contribution to innovative agricultural development in general, and to research, science and technology, in particular.
Since its inception in 2007, the show has become a popular annual event to recognise and value the importance of innovations in agricultural development, and create and promote awareness on the significant role of research, science and technology in innovative agricultural and rural development.
The chief guest of the event will be Paru Aihi, Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology and guest-of-honour will be Luther Wenge, Governor of Morobe province.
This year's show will involve demonstrations and displays of materials and technologies. NARI will also be officially releasing three improved technologies to the farming community.
This show is expected to attract over 40 research and development organisations, extension service providers, the private sector, NGOs, women's groups, businesses, innovative farmers and community groups who will have the opportunity to display their inventions or innovations.
In its vision for PNG, NARI sees "Prosperous PNG Agricultural Communities".
To realise this vision, NARI stands by its mission "to promote innovative agricultural development through scientific research, knowledge creation and information exchange".
NARI research and development programmes fall within the framework and priorities set by the government's Medium Term Development Plan, Development Strategic Plan 2010 – 2030, Vision 2050 and the National Agricultural Development Plan.
They are designed to contribute to food security, improved incomes, growth and sustainable agricultural development in PNG, with major targets being the smallholder farmers and rural communities.
In a bid to remain focused and efficient, NARI has adopted a four-tier system of planning comprised of a Corporate Plan, Strategic Plan 2006-2015 and Strategy and Results Framework 2011 - 2020.
These plans, which chart the way forward for the immediate and medium terms, are translated into actions through Annual Implementation Plans and Reviews.
An annual implementation plan for 2011 has been prepared and is currently being implemented.
In this year's innovations show, NARI will demonstrate how it is addressing various needs and aspirations of the nation and its people.
NARI programmes throughout the country will participate with exhibitions and demonstrations on a wide range of activities.
They cover innovative farming practices and improved food crop varieties, emerging food and cash crops, livestock production and management practices, and resource management issues based on NARI's applied and adaptive research.
Farmers and the public will also get to know the technical, analytical and diagnostic services and up-to-date information that the institute provides to the agriculture sector.
So far the institute has released 37 sets of improved technologies to the PNG farming community and is currently implementing 40 research and development projects.
On the occasion of the 14th anniversary, NARI acknowledges the invaluable support from the Government of PNG, AusAID, European Union, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and key collaborators and partners both locally and abroad.
With continued research, NARI continues to work towards knowledge creation and technology generation and transfer as its core functions so as to improve agricultural productivity and production, reduce poverty, create broad-based economic growth and generate improved welfare for all in PNG.
NARI strongly believes agricultural research and innovations should be the heart of agricultural development in PNG.
And the NARI Annual Agricultural Innovations Show is one such effort that could lead towards agricultural innovations in the country.
The event, which formally started 2007 on the occasion of NARI's 10th anniversary, is unique for the country because it is the first of its kind to recognise and value the importance of innovations in agricultural development.
The show will provide opportunities for stakeholders in the agriculture sector and participants to see these innovations, which have the potential to promote and improve agriculture in PNG.
It will allow stakeholders to come together to share information, exchange views and showcase their activities.
While the importance of science, research and technology is appreciated for any development, these alone are not sufficient to bring real development and prosperity to the people.
What is needed is to link research outputs to development impacts.
We have to create an effective bridge between the scientific world and development.
And that is what NARI will be trying to do this come Thursday.