Purchased from George Wu Company, the backhoe cost MAL $618,000.00. The money ($618 K) is from the savings Sape farm management made from the 2.7 million funding support agreement MAL and Sape farm signed in 2020.
The backhoe will assist the farm with the establishment of the proper drainage system to avoid floodwaters from coming into the farm during rainy seasons, assist with the removal of large boulders from the farm as well as assist with the establishment of a farm road within the farm.
Speaking on behalf of the Permanent Secretary at the handover ceremony, Deputy Secretary Technical of MAL, Michael Ho’ota said this is the first time that MAL has procured such a machine for a farming entity, in this case for Sape farm.
Mr. Ho’ota said agriculture is a risky undertaking (business) so we have to use the available tools and technologies currently at our disposal to ensure that we have a viable and sustainable farming business.
He said MAL is pleased with Sape farm's commitment adding the government through MAL will explore opportunities and look at how it can improve (this) cassava industry to maximize production and benefits to farmers and the government.
The Deputy Secretary Technical also emphasized the importance of farm mechanisation in the agricultural sector to make the works of farmers easier. Thus increasing production at the farm level.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) country representative, Jimi Saelea said FAO is happy to work together with MAL toward the growth of the agriculture sector in the country to improve livelihoods and ensure food security.
Mr. Saelea further said that it is encouraging to see MAL donating the backhoe that will help the farm with the establishment of a proper drainage system as well as assist with the establishment of an all-weather farm road system within the farm, and also provide greater opportunity for the farm to maximise on productivity.
Receiving the gift, Managing Director of Sape farm Dr. Paul Bosawai Popora expressed gratitude to the national government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) and FAO for seeing it fit to procure and donate the backhoe to Sape farm.
He also thanked FAO for its continuous commitment to agriculture development in the country through MAL/government.
In response to DST, Michael Ho’ota recognized Sape farm management for their commitment to developing the farm to where it is now today. He also thanked Sape farm for its contribution to food security in the country.
The handover ceremony also coincided with the first harvesting of Sape farm.
In May last year 2020, the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) and Sape farm management signed a 2.7 million funding support agreement that will see cassava root crop transform into an industry in the future.
The funding agreement and partnership was an initiative to support the government’s Food Security Programme.
The funding support agreement catered for farming machinery and tools, processing and refrigeration machines, and working capital.