Technical assistance

Promotion of digital technology in agriculture

Information and Communication Technology Minister Timothy Masiu revealed this during a discussion with the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) QU Dongyu at Dakar, Bangladesh, during the 36th FAO Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the United Nations this month.

Minister Masiu said the planning and coordination of the agricultural sector was led by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, which was implementing one of the agenda items of the APRC to intensify inclusive digitalization in the agricultural value chain.

“PNG, as a member of the UN, has maintained warm and friendly relations with member states, benefiting from knowledge sharing and technical assistance in the areas of agriculture,” he said. declared.

Minister Masiu informed that FAO, through the European Union’s 11 European Development Fund (EDF), is implementing EU support to rural entrepreneurship, investment and trade in PNG (STREIT PNG). Adding that EUSTREIT-PNG focuses on East and West Sepik provinces and has program components based on digitizing the value chain of key commodities such as vanilla and cocoa. “ICT has been part of the EU-STREIT PNG program through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and provided technical assistance in the development of the Sepik e-Agriculture Master Plan.”

Minister Masiu told the meeting that the Government Digital Transformation Policy 2020 has laid the foundation for the digitalization of government services within government agencies, citizens and businesses in the context of PNG.

He said the Digital Government Bill, once enacted, will enable digital transformation in public service delivery and adoption strategies to improve the agricultural value chain.

The government has also given approval to the Ministry of ICT to operate a private cloud with Amazon Web Services, which will provide access to cloud infrastructure, platform and software-as-a-service solutions.

Minister Masiu said it was important as an approved platform for national security and market access. He said the policy and operation of PNG’s universal access services were being reviewed to pursue the policy objectives of affordability, meaningful connectivity and accessibility.

“The integration of these technologies into agriculture is essential to support the pre-production, production and post-production phases of agricultural value chains,” said Minister Masiu.

He added that as all sectors of society continue to adopt digital solutions, post-COVID-19, it is important that suitable e-agriculture solutions take advantage of emerging opportunities and innovation.