Friday, October 02, 2020

Government moves to promote citrus industry

The Government will be moving to promote PNG's fledgling citrus industry in a big way, says Agriculture and Livestock Minister.

An impressed Simon said this after visiting the orange orchard of Agriculture and Livestock Secretary, Daniel Kombuk, in the Wahgi Valley of Jiwaka on Sunday (Sept 27, 2020).

Kombuk, PNG's leading breeder and farmer of citrus, grows Israeli and California hybrid oranges in the Wahgi Valley.

Hundreds of people are now growing oranges, purchased from Kombuk's nursery at Aviamp and at Minj, as a cash crop.

Minister Simon said the monetary gains, from just one tree alone, at 250kg per year, were significant for this  sleeping giant import replacement industry.

He said oranges were very expensive in Port Moresby supermarkets, selling as high as K40 for just six, when higher quality ones were being grown in the Highlands.

He urged Papua New Guineans to start growing oranges and in their backyards as a cash crop.

True to form, Simon, himself a farmer, ordered 10,000 orange seedlings to be grown in his Maprik District in East Sepik Province.