THE Philippines and Papua New Guinea signed a five-year memorandum of agreement (MOA) that aims for greater cooperation on agriculture between the nations, Malacañang said on Saturday, Nov. 17.
The MOA, signed by the two countries on Friday, Nov. 16, covers 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.
The five-year pact also includes training on bio-security mechanisms 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 will 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 in Papua New Guinea.
The Philippines and Papua New Guinea also signed a rice cooperation agreement.
In August, 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. (RUTH ABBEY GITA OF SUNSTAR PHILIPPINES)