PH, Papua New Guinea ink deal on agriculture

PAPUA NEW GUINEA. President Rodrigo Duterte, left, is greeted by Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill during the start of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Saturday, November 17, 2018. (AP)

THE Philippines and Papua New Guinea have signed a five-year memorandum of agreement (MOA) that aims for greater cooperation on agriculture between the nations, Malacañang said on Saturday, November 17.

The MOA, signed by the two countries on Friday, November 16, covers 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.

The five-year pact also includes training on bio-security mechanism and systems for monitoring, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures; agribusiness development; infrastructure development like irrigation facilities and abattoirs; and agricultural research, education and training.

Under the MOA, the two nations would likewise invest in agriculture; exchange professionals, scientists, and technicians; transfer genetic materials and technology; exchange scientific and technical information; and collaborate on studies and research.

“Both parties can also organize workshops, symposia, training courses, and exhibition on related subjects,” the Palace said in a statement.

“Under the agreement, the sending country shall cover the expenses for international travels and related cost while the receiving state shall be responsible for the expenses related to transportation and board and lodging,” it added.

The MOA was signed the day President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Port Moresby to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Meeting.

Philippine officials also inspected on Friday the 25-hectare Philippines-Papua New Guinea Rice Demonstration Farm inside the Pacific Adventist University outside Port Moresby, Malacañang said.

The leased facility seeks the establishment of a model seed farm that can be a source of certified rice seeds for commercial and smallholder farmers of Papua New Guinea.

The Philippines and Papua New Guinea have signed a rice cooperation agreement.

In August, at least 19 Filipino farm technicians and tax-free supplies and equipment were sent to Port Moresby to spearhed the development of the demo farm, which includes irrigation and planting of initial rice seeds.

The rice demonstration farm will be showcased during the Apec Economic Leaders' Meeting in Port Moresby on Saturday and Sunday, November 18. (SunStar Philippines)


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