Minister for Sports and Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Wesley Raminai has released a statement setting the record straight that proper process was followed when appointing new members to the National Agricultural Research Institute Governing Council.
He was referring to a recent media statement from the former NARI Council chairman Professor Chalapan Kaluwin, who alleged poor practices exercised in the appointments that replaced the old Council.
“Professor Chalapan Kaluwin’s term on the Council expired on 1 February 2021. For the other members of the council, their terms expired on 14 July 2019,” Raminai said.
“As Minister responsible and acting in accordance with the powers bestowed on me, I followed proper relevant processes to appoint members to the Council. If the new council didn’t include him (Chalapan), he just needs to accept the fact that his services are no longer required, and he should move on.
“Professor Chalapan should refrain from bad-mouthing me for my decision and stop doubting the capacity and expertise of the new council members, some of whom are his colleagues.”
“I wanted a new group of council members who have adopted my vision, which is in line with the Marape-Basil Government and they have been challenged to deliver on the objectives necessary for this country to benefit more from the agricultural sector. Many stakeholders and experts in this sector have been saying that we are not getting maximum benefits from this sector and the new council’s tasks include taking these on board and through appropriate research, rectify some of the issues that are impediments to improve the agricultural sector.
“The new council, which comprises of some highly qualified and experienced personnel, also draws together a wider variety of skillsets, which comes in handy as we look at commercializing agriculture.
“They have already started on these new challenges and our good professor should allow these Papua New Guineans to have an opportunity to contribute to this industry. At this juncture we thank him and his council members for their contributions during their term.”
“Our fore fathers have been doing subsistence farming for many centuries and the Governing Council will focus on finding the best practices and systems to commercialise agriculture so that not only do we improve food security but at the same time get maximum returns on our production. We not only want to increase capacity but ensure appropriate high quality which meets international standards for exports to bring in much needed foreign exchange,” Raminai said.