By Mike Puia
THE national government’s cut to line ministries’ budgets appears to have crippled provincial branches.
Provincial agriculture extension offices are being hard hit.
According to the Western provincial agriculture extension branch, based in Gizo, most of its programmes have been stalled because of lack of funding.
“According to our programmes we should have tours to other parts of the province. This has not happened because we have no funding to cater for fuel,” John Kepas, Principal Field Officer for the agriculture extension office in Gizo, said.
Kepas said their office usually travels of other parts of the province and conduct awareness and share information with farmers and help do monitoring and evaluation.
He said they have other plans but because of funding unavailability they could not implement them.
Since the national government’s announcement of a major cut to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development’s budget, he said their office is unable to do its work.
Even with that, Kepas said their office in Gizo is open to farmers who may need the support of the office.
“Since we are unable to go out to the rural areas, farmers can still come to our Gizo office and seek our support,” Kepas said.