PH, Papua New Guinea ink agri cooperation
MANILA — A five-year Memorandum Of Agreement ( MOA ) for greater cooperation on agriculture was signed between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea on the sidelines of the attendance of President Rodrigo R. Duterte at the 26th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting on Friday.
A statement from Malacañang said among the areas of cooperation under the agreement include a tie-up on rice and grain production, including the development of hybrid species; production of coconut, cocoa, coffee, rubber, and palm oil; horticulture production; aquaculture and inland fish farming; post-harvest development; livestock breeding; and improvement in breeding cattle and goat.
It also covers training on bio-security mechanism and systems for monitoring, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures; agribusiness development; infrastructure development such as irrigation facilities and abattoirs; and agricultural research, education, and training.
Moreover, there will also be investment in agriculture; exchange of professionals, scientists, and technicians; transfer of genetic materials and technology; exchange of scientific and technical information; and collaboration on studies and research.
Both countries can also organize workshops, symposiums, training courses, and exhibition on related subjects.
Under the agreement, the sending country shall cover the expenses for international travels and related costs while the receiving state shall be responsible for the expenses related to transportation and board and lodging.
On Friday, Philippine officials inspected the 25-hectare Philippines-Papua New Guinea Rice Demonstration Farm located inside the Pacific Adventist University outside Port Moresby.
The leased facility aims to establish a model seed farm that can be a source of certified rice seeds for commercial and smallholder farmers of Papua New Guinea.
In August this year, under a rice cooperation agreement between the two countries, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) sent 19 Filipino farm technicians and tax-free supplies and equipment to Port Moresby to spearhead the development of the demo farm, which includes irrigation and planting of initial rice seeds.
This rice demonstration farm will be showcased during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in Port Moresby on November 17 and 18, 2018.
Filipino officials who visited the farm were Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, Presidential Spokesperson and Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, and Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
Papua New Guinea is home to over 40,000 Filipinos and over 200 Philippine companies operating in the country, according to the DFA.