Pacific Balanced Fund, PNG’s home grown investment fund plans to grow and expand its asset value through the diversification of its investment portfolios in strategic business opportunities in the country.
Recently the Fund established the PBF Agro Business Ltd to tap into the vast agricultural investment opportunities available in the agricultural sector in PNG.
PBF’s investment in PBF Agro Business Ltd, aims to be competitive and contribute to the overall growth of the Fund’s portfolio.
General Manager for PBF Agro Business Ltd, Jerry Kootz Simon says the lack of exposure of the Fund in the agri-business sector and the vast opportunities guided by the boards strategic direction saw the establishment of PBF Agro Business Limited.
The investment is to ensure emerging commercial opportunities in the agro-business sector in PNG are fully explored and utilized by the Fund.
This includes specific investments in agro-business companies and ventures by PBF Agro Business Limited and the investment in knowledge, skills and technology to industrialize large scale commercial agriculture in the country.
A major milestone achieved over the last few months of operation was the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by PBF Agro Business Limited with Innovative Agro Industries Limited (IAI).
The MOU was signed after 12 months of discussions and negotiation which saw members of the board travel to Israel with IAI to see firsthand the level of agriculture based technological know-how there; and how a synergy can be created with IAI’s expertise for the technology to be adopted and used in PNG to develop and change the current commercial agriculture landscape.
Simon says it is at the core of PBF Agro Business Limited that it envisions that commercial agriculture in PNG will never be the same again through the collaboration with IAI.
He says PBF Agro Business is planning on a number of few agro projects in the country which is anticipated to be a ‘game changer’ once it is announced and launched in the not too distant future.
The government recently announced two new bills that will revamp agriculture in Papua New Guinea.
The Agriculture Administration Adjustment Bill and the Agriculture Investment Corporation Bill are currently before the parliament for vetting.
It is anticipated, both of these Bills when in operation will potentially reform Agriculture through providing enabling legislation and administration for large scale, industrialized farming right across the country.
Jerry Kootz Simon says the set-up of PBF Agro Business Ltd is also in line with the government’s vision, and supports government priorities in agriculture which contributes directly towards nation building.
He says, as one of the oldest Fund in Papua New Guinea, PBF’s investment in the agriculture sector is timely as it contributes not only towards putting more money into the pockets of local farmers, but more importantly strengthening PNG’s food security; and helping to alleviate poverty in the long term – which is the core ideal of PBF Agro Business Limited and the Fund.