BY BEN BILUA
THE country’s State of Environment Report has highlighted that there is huge obstacle in the development of the Agriculture Sector due to natural, social and economic challenges.
The report states that production has continued to decrease in crops like cocoa and coconut over the past years.
It states that the decreased in production is due to natural disasters such as flash flooding, volatile prices in the market, lack of private and public investment and instability political and economic environment.
The report warns that efforts to enhance agricultural production should focus on managing the environmental effects as expanding croplands have a range of impacts on loss of forest cover, water quality, and cultural heritage and conservation sites.
It states that agricultural sector is the most important sector for the country’s economy, with subsistence farming being the predominant occupation of around 80% of the population.
The report states that the National Development Strategy 2016-2035 and the Agriculture and Livestock Sector Policy 2015-2019 targets have extensive proposals to sustainably increase the contribution of the sector to gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.
The report is compiled by Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) with the help of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM).
The report was launched last week as COVID-19 prevented its proposed launching last year.