PAPUA New Guineans in rural areas can move from the subsistence farming method to a semi-commercial level,
Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Sir Puka Temu says.
Delivering his keynote address on Wednesday to local farmers,  students and others at Kwikila, Central, where World Food Day was being celebrated, Sir Puka said the government recognised the agriculture sector as one in which millions of Papua New Guineans were involved.
“I acknowledge those farmers who attend to their gardens daily and fishermen who go out to sea to sustain their livelihood,” he said.
“PNG has better farming systems than other countries; people just continue to be involved in agriculture everywhere in PNG.
“As the agriculture minister, I will make sure that the agriculture sector receives the attention it deserves.
“We need to relook at our ways of farming and fishing and utilise our resources well.”
The theme for this year’s World Food Day is “Food price – from crisis to stability”.
Sir Puka said food prices would continue to rise if the country continued to import food.
He said farmers needed to move to the next level of productivity.
“Our people, especially young people, must move back to the land.
“Not everyone now going to school will secure a paid job. Agriculture must remain the backbone of PNG’s economy,” he said.
Rural farmers from Rigo district and the surrounding areas, as well as students, took part in the event, which was organised by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock.
Organisations from the agriculture sector were present to create awareness and educate the people on their respective roles and farming topics.
Traditional dances, drama, food and livestock display, music entertainment and a bit of horse riding were featured at the occasion.
World Food Day was observed by the Central administration and the National Capital District Commission last Sunday in Port Moresby, in conjunction with the opening of the refurnished Boroko market, which will be used by Central vendors only.