Papua New Guinea will now be working in partnership with India to develop the agriculture sector to boost economic opportunities for both countries.
This will be made possible following a recent ministerial fact finding mission trip by several ministers of the state including the Minister for agriculture and livestock Benny Allan.
Mr Allan said the trip abroad has helped the ministry and department of to identify technical and development opportunities for the country to build the sector with assistance from India.
He said they have identified that agricultural challenges of India 50 years ago was no different to Papua New Guinea, that is why India has a very strong position to assist PNG with its plans as a country to develop and grow the agriculture sector which will help to boost the economy.
“PNG was looking to India to provide support and assistance in areas of agricultural research and extension services, technology development of plant and livestock gene banks and encouraging agriculture mechanisation in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity.
“We went there and had a meeting with the agriculture sector and the minister for India last Tuesday and requested for specific crops to be grown, one of them is the cotton, and we know they are one of the leading textile industry so we asked them to come to grow cotton, rice, wheat, and livestock.
“We told them we have long relationship and this time we want India to come and invest in our agriculture sector,” he said.
Mr Allan said the outcome of their meeting with the agriculture minister for India had positive response from the Indian side indicating that they are ready to support PNG.
He said both countries have agreed to sign a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for this assistance program which a draft copy has been submitted to PNG department of foreign affairs to forward to the agriculture minister for India for them to put their inputs before both countries sign.
The draft MoA will provide platform and terms of reference to facilitate and support technical, research, development, extension and investment opportunities and programs for both countries.