Sunday, August 16, 2009

Governor General calls for healthy and prosperous citizens

Governor General Sir Paulias Matane pulls the FPDA corporate plan out of an apt bilum of fresh vegetables
Governor General Sir Paulias Matane shows off the FPDA’s corporate plan while launching it at the Crowne Plaza

Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane has emphasised the urgent need for healthy and prosperous citizens of Papua New Guinea.
Launching the Fresh Produce Development Agency’s five-year corporate plan (2010-2018) at the Crowne Plaza in Port Moresby last Thursday, Sir Paulias said consumption of more locally-grown garden produce would provide healthy and prosperous citizens.
The plan envisions a “food and nutrition secure and prosperous Papua New Guinea”.
“Apart from these benefits,” Sir Paulias said, “it will contribute to fitter and healthier citizens, and secondly it will increase employment opportunities for our young people, particularly the 85% living in our rural areas,” he said.
“Ensuring that there is enough quality and nutritious food on the table is a responsibility of all responsible individuals and providers of households.
“Individuals or households that do not budget enough of their time, resources, incomes to ensure that there is good quality and nutritious food on the table will very soon succumb to ill health, diseases, hunger, malnutrition and even death.
“Likewise, a country that does not give priority to the food needs and requirements of its citizens will soon face the same fate.
“Diseased, hungry and malnourished citizens are liabilities, not assets, because their productivity and mental capacity are adversely affected.
“Increased quality of sufficient quantities of food is not enough.
“The food available and consumed must be nutritious.
“Food and vegetables are important for our diets because they are important sources of essential vitamins.”
Sir Paulias said the FPDA needed to promote the benefits of eating local garden produce to assist Papua New Guineans to adopt healthy diets and to increase the income levels and opportunities of those growing fresh produce.
He, however, said the plan, however great it may be, would not work unless there were resources to implement it.
“I believe that funds and technical support channeled to this industry will make positive impacts on the country’s food security status, economy, social livelihoods, health and educational capacity of a large number of Papua New Guineans,” Sir Paulias said.
“It is an economic sub-sector that is worth investing in, because it deals with a commodity that sustains our health, lives and livelihoods and particularly supports a large proportion of our population.”
Sir Paulias acknowledged the support of international partners such as AusAID through the Agriculture Research and Development Support Facility (ARDSF) and New Zealand through the Institutional Strengthening Project (ISP), as well as local stakeholders such as departments of agriculture and livestock, treasury, national planning and monitoring and business houses involved in the fresh produce industry.

No comments:

Post a Comment