17 Aug 2015

Call for serious reform in PNG farming sector

4:05 pm on 17 August 2015

A group representing farmers in Papua New Guinea's Highlands says serious reform is needed as the country's agricultural output for the year is set to decline yet again.

Despite the government and donors pouring millions of dollars into the sector each year, the Highlands Farmers and Settlers Association says farmers are seeing none of it.

Its deputy president, Steven Kotene, who is also a coffee farmer, says the funding is continually abused and misused at the expense of the economic well-being of many small farmers.

"There is total misuse, total abuse, the mechanism is not in order. The policy is right but there's no legal framework to the policy, that's why the politicians can just interfere, the public servants can go in and out and get money, and it's not coming down to us on the ground."

Steven Kotene says the government will never meet its export targets if things continue in the same way.

Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea.

Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZ