By SOLDIER BURUKA of DAL
Agricultural graduates have been urged to use their knowledge and skills to be farmers themselves.
They were told that obtaining a certificate is an achievement and a start to a new chapter in their professional career in agriculture.
Deputy secretary for corporate services with the Department of Agriculture and Livestock Vele Kagena said this at the 36th
Speaking on behalf Minister John Hickey, Mr Kagena commended the 2009 graduating class and told them that getting formal jobs is not everything.
“Many of the graduands have many years of field experience as agriculturalists or as youths with no hope in life,” he said.
“The HAC programme comprising of the post-certificate diploma and the farmer training programme is a great achievement and will equip trainers and farmers with updated agricultural information.”
Mr Kagena said the HAC programme had further enhanced their ability and personal skills to better deal with their work within their communities or sectoral institutions.
“For you all, getting formal jobs is not everything,” he said.
“It is my hope that educated and trained agriculturalist like yourselves will use your knowledge and skills to be farmers yourselves.
“Obtaining a certificate today is a great personal achievement and a start to a new chapter in your professional career in agriculture.”
Mr Kagena said the current circumstances in PNG had curtailed job opportunities in the public and private sectors but urged the graduands not to lose hope and to seek other alternatives within the agriculture sector.
The 36th HAC graduation marks another milestone and successful year for PNG’s premier in-service training institution that has produced well over 2,300 PCD graduates and another 1, 500 trainees on short specialised training courses, which is a significant achievement.
Mr Kagena praised the HAC management for its efforts and urged the college to refocus its curriculum and objective in promoting innovative agriculture development through improved agriculture technology, information and knowledge.
“The college has a critical role to play in ensuring that teaching and training of both farmers and agriculturalists is continued successfully and contributes to income-earning opportunities for the rural population,” he said,
HAC acting Principal Phillip Senat told the graduands to stand tall and be proud as agriculturalists.
“The diploma and certificate is a stepping stone and opens up new opportunities in life,” he said.
He urged them to utilise these to make a difference in their lives.
He challenged those going home to take up farming as a business and to provide leadership in the rural communities.