By Staff Reporter : PNG Today
The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill has welcomed the commitment of fellow APEC Leaders to strengthen food security around the region, that he said will benefit both the people and food producers of Papua New Guinea.
After APEC Leaders delivered their Lima Declaration this week, the Prime Minister said APEC’s focus on regional food security will not only strengthen economies, but will open up skills training and technical support for Papua New Guinea.
He said food security is a further area of significant concern for APEC Leaders and they are encouraging greater action around the region and in individual countries.
“APEC can address challenges to food security and this has implications for all people in the food supply chain, from farmer to consumer,” the Prime Minister said.
“As part of this, APEC Leaders have instructed our officials to place more emphasis on enhancing food markets, and this includes integrating food producers into domestic and global food supply and value chains.
“We further agreed that our Governments must do more to reduce food loss and waste, and for Papua New Guinea this is important in the post harvest-phase of production.
“This is the period after the crop is harvested and before it gets to market, and where food loses can have a serious impact in the incomes of our farmers and food producers.”
The Prime Minister said climate change and extreme weather pose a major challenge for food production and food security, and APEC Leaders have instructed officials in their respective countries to be proactive in dealing with this threat.
Leaders stated in the 2016 Declaration that ‘We also commit to intensify our efforts to mitigate impacts of drought, flood and climate-related disasters on food production and food security.’
“In Lima, APEC Leaders committed to enhance co-operation and to implement policies that reduce the impact climate change has on food production,” The Prime Minister said.
“This will mean stepping up efforts through the APEC Program on Food Security and Climate Change, and as part of this, Papua New Guinea will look to the information and data that can be shared.
“Papua New Guinea will participate in projects and technical capacity building programs that will help farmers better protect against climate change.”