Farmer voices concern over agriculture assistance in Taro

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BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE

A farmer from Northwest Choiseul is calling on the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to explain why the agriculture office in Taro is unable to provide him any assistance.

Mr Binet Pitakera stressed that he had sought assistance from the office several times but was only told that there is no money.

He said that this is surprising given that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) has expressed in the media that they provide assistance for farmers in the rural areas through their provincial agriculture offices.

Pitakera also mentioned that he has come to the thought the ministry is only supporting projects and not farmers’ individual requests for assistance.

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He calls on the ministry to explain why their office in Taro has not been able to assist him.

MAL’s Under Secretary and Supervising Permanent Secretary, Mr Oswald Ramo when contacted by the paper earlier this week explained that government’s budget cut this year has really affected their funding and assistance for projects and farmers in the provinces.

He added that those who apply for assistance include groups of people and individuals whose applications have to be assessed before being dealt with.

Ramo furthered that even last year’s approved projects are yet to receive funding.

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