27 Apr 2007

Farming co-operatives and rural micro credit schemes seen as the way forward for PNG

2:23 pm on 27 April 2007

A Papua New Guinea political party leader says the establishment of farmer co-operatives is the way forward for the economy.

Jamie Maxtone Graham of the Kantri Pati says the vast majority of the population receive little help from the country's politicians.

He says the dependence on oil and minerals is artificial and does not provide opportunity for the 85 percent of the people who live subsistent lifestyles outside of the urban areas.

Mr Maxtone Graham says his party wants to create farmers' co-operatives to provide training and credit.

"Commercial banks here don't lend to farmers anymore. Now we want to change that. We want to set up Grameen Banks or micro financing systems where is it controlled by the community themselves. They members of the co-operative - they decide who gets the loans and they ensure that the farmers who borrow the money pay the money back."