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Agricultural extension work in Papua and New Guinea



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FOR PRESS ; 966

AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION WORK IN Pa PUA AM) NEW " (GUINEA

Statement by the Minister for Territories, the Hon. Paul ------- Hasluck

The Minister for Territories, Mr* Paul Hasluck, said to-day that he had approved a plan which would ensure that the great

emphasis now being given to agricultural extension work among

the indigenous people of Papua and New Guinea will be intensified still further,

%ยท The main points provided in the plan which covers three years to 1961/62 are to recruit to the Division of Agricultural

Extension in the Territory an additional 74 European officers, the building up of the force of indigenous agricultural assistants by 180 to about 300 so that there is one to each 5,000 of rural population, the training of 1,000 indigenous

farmers per year in improved agricultural practices, the establishment of 22 additional agricultural extension centres from which field staff can work and at which agricultural demonstrations can be conducted, the more intensive use of

extension aids such as film strip projection and the production of pamphlets on the more important aspects of crop growing and processing, and considerable stepping up of the amount of

agricultural patrolling to provide for a greater degree of

agricultural contact with the population.

3# As a result of this intensified agricultural extension programme, Mr. Hasluck said, the Department of Agriculture in

the Territory considers that there would be a potential after

three years for native copra, cocoa and coffee production to increase to 50,000 tons, 8,900 tons and 4>300 tons per year respectively, as well as large increases in production of food for consumption and cash sale. Implementation of the plan, Mr, Hasluck continued, would make a major contribution to the advancement of the natives and the economic development of the Territory.

CANBERRA

November 25. 1959 - P.M.