Vice Minister highlights APEC policy partnership on food security
Food supply, Climate smart resilience, policy translation and enhancing greater participation of smallholder women famers were the key points highlighted during the official opening of the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) meeting at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby on Saturday.
PNG Vice Minister for Agriculture & Livestock Henry Ame officially opened the two-day meeting as part of APEC's first senior official and related meetings.
The Vice Minister highlighted key areas of Food Security, Gender- women Inclusive in Agriculture, and local SME involvement in Agriculture (Small Holder Farming) to meet key issue of food supply chain and production to meet world demand.
The Minister said some of the key areas that APEC needed to take into consideration and take action was to address the supply side of food security, promote climate smart resilience food production system, translate policies into business opportunity and promote inclusive growth focusing on enhancing greater participation of smallholder and women farmers in food value chain.
He further stressed that agriculture is a very important sector in Papua New Guinea that contributes about 28% of the GDP that supports 87% of population mainly in rural areas, who depend on agriculture for food security, income and employment.
He added that the government's development priorities for the agriculture sector is focus on
- Investment in Road and Infrastructure
- Supply/Value chains of agriculture products
- Domestic and international market access for agriculture products
- Development of food crops, tree crops and livestock industries
- Improving extension services and Support agriculture research & development
- Mobilize and improve access to land for agriculture and Promote investment in agriculture
- Sustainable and inclusive development of agriculture and management disaster
He challenged the APEC Economies to "translate Agriculture and food Security policies into business opportunity to increase trade and marketing of Agriculture products for domestic and international markets and create enabling environment to promote growth and expansion of food trade and marketing".
He appreciated the fact that APEC Economies had taken steps to tackle food security issues through the Master Plan 'APEC Food Security Road Map 2020'.
"Food security is becoming a major global issue and it is a concern for APEC Economies as well due to demand and supply challenges," Minister Ame said.
The minister also recognized the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (ABAC) which is playing an important role in the private sector and business organizations of APEC Economies to convert APEC policies into business opportunities like SMEs in Agriculture products for domestic and international marketing, thus creating employment.
He welcomed all delegates, Chair and co-chair to Papua New Guinea for the special meeting while wishes them a pleasant stay and to enjoy the wonderful environment.