Agriculture vital to growing PNG revenue

8:45 am on 12 August 2015

The Papua New Guinea Opposition leader says agriculture can be the saviour of the country's economy.

Government revenues are falling and its deficit is widening and while Prime Minister Peter O'Neill paints a positive picture, Don Polye says the government is insolvent.

PNG has borne the brunt of a collapse in commodity prices in its key minerals and petroleum sector but Mr Polye is accusing the government of gross mismanagement.

He says proceeds from the LNG project to the government are just over $US1 billion dollars annually but this is being squandered.

"Funds should be put to developing the agriculture sector and if we can create the agriculture sector in the next five years or so, although you have got commodity prices down from the extractive industries, I believe that the agriculture can rescue Papua New Guinea and that is where my focus would be."

Mr Poyle says the government has already cut funding to public works, education, health, and other sectors.

Food production in Papua New Guinea

Food production in Papua New Guinea Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

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