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Science and research vital for innovative agriculture

Science and research are at the heart of innovative agriculture for sustainable development and total prosperity of Papua New Guinea. NARI Director General Dr Sergie Bang said it is NARI's role to use scientific research to unlock the potential of agriculture in partnership with other agricultural agencies, universities, development partners, farmers and the private sector.

One of the forums through which NARI networks and shares the results of its science-based research for innovative agriculture is community engagements - such as the annual Agricultural Innovations Shows - like the one hosted on May 4 at its head quarters in Lae.

In his opening remarks, Dr Bang said in the systematic understanding of causes and effects, and outcomes and impacts; scientific research must be translated into improved technologies and practices.

"Often these are called inventions or new knowledge, to be used for catalyzing innovative agriculture," Dr Bang said.

"Of course traditional and indigenous knowledge available in the system becomes integral part of such innovative agriculture."

Dr Bang added that NARI’s assertion has been that agriculture has been the most important sector of the PNG economy.

"This is not only because of the dependence of the vast majority of our population on agriculture but it is also because of the sector’s tremendous untapped but realizable potential to assure food security, improve cash incomes and provide comfortable livelihoods.

"This is also to bring total prosperity and sustainable development in the country," Dr Bang said.

He said it was therefore the Institute's efforts to create this awareness among policy makers, political leaders, governments at various levels (including provinces and districts), our donors and farming and rural communities.

Relatively the show event was organized around the theme Inventions and Innovations for Prosperous and Food Secure PNG: Research to Practice”.

The Institute also did a pre-release of four more high yielding taro hybrids during the occasion. 

Dr Bang said the show was getting bigger and better every time, with quality of innovations and richness of participation. 

"We would like to thank all participating organizations and individuals for joining hands in this great endeavor – the 2017 Agricultural Innovations Show."

The Institute is proud to continue in delivering on its mandate for 20 years since May 1997 and we can only improve, Dr Bang added.

"We also put on record our appreciation and grateful thanks to ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research) for funding and collaborating with NARI on 11 R&D projects."

The Institute executive also acknowledged the various other donors and collaborators, including EU, PNGSDPL, Morobe Provincial Government, and other regional and international donors for their partnership and funding support.

Dr Bang further recognized the Government, the Universities (esp Unitech), other NARS, private sector and farmers for partnering and supporting NARI in AR4D (Agricultural Research for Development).

He added that in the last 12 months, the Institute developed its MTIP 2017-2020 which provides the basis for investment in AR4D in key mega projects in the medium term.

As part of this, NARI has also developed a Revenue Generation Plan 2017 – 2021 which shows revenue to be generated every year within NARI and guides its regional centers on viable projects.

Dr Bang said NARI's partnership with TRUKAI in domestic rice production will help achieve this plan.  

During the show, NARI also awarded staff who have served the Institute for 10 years.

The CEO also acknowledged the quality support and contributions made by the NARI Council Chairman and members of the Council, management, scientists, technical officers, managers and general staff numbering over 400 in different parts of the country.

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