By OMSSY KOAKE
THE country’s agriculture sector is embracing information and communication technology to enhance the sector.
Farmers in the field can now sit behind computers to markets their produce.
It is a sector that has the potential to improve food security, nutrition and income earning opportunities, create employment, reduce poverty and enhance socio-economic development. It is the sector that needs to be targeted with sound policies and strategies and adequate support to improve livelihood and foster rural development.
Ken Shimizu, PNG Country Representative of FAO said that improved access and better linkage between Research –Extension –Farmer through information remains a priority. He said that this can only be if players in responsible sectors participate in establishing a conducive environment which can allow agriculture development and the tools and application of Information Communication Technology (ICT) offer promising opportunities to facilitate this and overall national development .
He said many actors in the sector have taken advantage of these opportunities but cannot progress without favourable guidance from the telecommunication regulators and better infrastructure, funding support and skills.
“The PNG e-Agriculture strategy for PNG is expected to help guide stakeholders in capturing and better utilizing the vast ICT opportunities in the country to promote agriculture and rural technology,” Mr Shimizu said.
“We are organizing such consultative workshops to gauge views from the public to tell us the way forward in the improvement of the agriculture sector in the country.”