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Agriculture course targets leadership and innovation

The Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct is supporting efforts to transform Papua New Guinea’s agricultural sector into a market-focused industry that will drive economic development.

Department of Agriculture and Livestock Secretary Dr Vele Ila’ava launched the three-day Precinct course, Leadership and Innovation in Agriculture, on 19 July saying there was huge potential to increase the efficiency of agricultural production.

“We must transform the agriculture sector in our country by providing accessibility for our people to established markets, recognised systems and increase the opportunities for them to convert it to wealth,” he said.

Dr Ila’ava said the sector remained the most heavily relied upon for rural development, benefiting more than 80 per cent of the population.

Course participants included mid to senior level officials from government departments, provincial administrations, research institutes, universities, industry boards and other organisations engaged in the agricultural sector.

Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis said there were many opportunities for closer cooperation in agriculture between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

“Agriculture is extraordinarily important and its opportunities are long term,” he said.

“Australia is keen to work with Papua New Guinea through the Australian Centre for International and Agricultural Research, creating farming innovations, conducting joint activities with the private sector and providing agricultural education scholarships for Papua New Guineans,” High Commissioner Davis said.

The Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct is an Australia-Papua New Guinea education and training initiative to strengthen leadership, management, and core public service skills in Papua New Guinea.