Wednesday 10 August, 2023

Papua New Guinea’s Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) has  recently introduced the ‘Government Agriculture Price & Market Information Services (GAPMIS).

This mobile-enabled service aims to provide access to essential and value-added services for the general public in the country.

DAL Secretary Dr. Nelson Simbiken,  acknowledges and recognizes the value of resolving the difficulties facing the agriculture sector, and encouraging broad-based economic and agricultural engagement and to address these issues,   the GAPMIS was created.

Secretary Simbiken said DAL for the first time in history, has upgraded its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system.

He said with the help of Telikom PNG Limited DAL will now connect to all provinces.

The service makes use of straightforward SMS/USSD protocols, enabling users to use both less sophisticated devices like Android or iPhones as well as more traditional GSM or “Wan Bang” phones to access it.

The general public can have access to a number of essential and value-added services through this service, such as commodity market pricing information (all commodities, livestock, spices, horticulture), agro-advisory services, disease warnings, communications to farmers, crop management, and soil services.

The GAPMIS also includes crucial government intervention initiatives including SME/MSMEs programs, freight subsidy schemes, and price support programs that serve as the foundation for online business channels.

The use of GAPMIS to supply the government’s Agri-Price & Market Information Services is advantageous given the high prevalence of mobile phones among the rural population.

It ensures that even the agricultural population can easily access this valuable resource, as it is estimated that every household possesses at least one mobile phone.

Additionally, DAL is digitizing its finances all the way down to regional offices in the provinces and will eventually switch to a cloud-based system.

Secretary Simbiken further clarified, “ DAL has setup a Government Price and Market information services for Rural Farmers, connecting to market trends and empowering them to make better decisions.

“*16400# is the Power Digit to transform Agriculture and empower the rural economy. It is an initiative of DAL to drive the Marape-Rosso Agriculture policy on digital marketing, commercial Agriculture and downstream to add value to export commodity crops.

“The GAPMiS is delivering commodity prices in and around country supporting the delivery of Government’s freight and price subsidies policies.

“The service is delivered using the TELIKOM network and Sim cards at the moment. Interface with Digicel and Vodafone is in progress to reach wider farming communities,” he added.

[Featured Image: Credit to Streit and PNG Business News]

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