Friday, 7 December 2012

A time of Growth Must Be a Time of Saving

Commentary by Nathan Dingu

Most Papua New Guineans are very familiar with the story of Joseph – one of the sons of Jacob – Israel who was betrayed by his own brothers but someone who eventually turned around saved his brothers and thus an entire nation and an entire people!

It is what it is – a story of the Bible that happened many years ago – that is, if you believe in the Bible but a story that we can relate to today. Let me bring you all back to our nation Papua New Guinea.

Social network commentator and
PNG patriot, Nathan Dingu

In the year 1997 our country faced some its toughest times in history – yes – we faced a nationwide drought that many died from. 

I personally can remember the ‘frost bites’ in the highlands that turned many gardens into ‘black’ firewood. Indeed during that time many people right around the country required government assistance to survive.

After 1997 we faced some of the toughest economics times – where we saw exponential crime rates, unemployment and some of the worst economic times our country has every faced.

Come 2002 – we had many Christians – prayer warriors praying right around the country and we saw a break-through – all of a sudden we saw exponential economic growth that our country has faced in its brief history – we are still living in those times as a nation and I wish this could continue forever – I am sure most of you do as well.

Now let me bring you back to the story of Joseph. Joseph was made governor of Egypt – because he could interpret a dream the Lord had given to the king of the land. Let me tell you that story, the king saw in his dream, seven cows (if my memory serves me correct) – they were quite well fed, very healthy and of the best stock. Then came along seven other cows which were very bony at that (Skeletons I would presume) that came up and ate the other seven fat cows.

We Joseph – with insight the Lord had given him interpreted correctly that Egypt and the rest of the world at that time would face seven (7) years of exponential growth followed by seven(7) years of famine. Well exactly that was what transpired and through Joseph, Egypt was able to save the rest of the world from hunger including his own brothers, father and family.

Now – I do not wish to sound like a dooms dayer – but we all know that the world’s economy is in dire straight. What we are seeing in Papua New Guinea in the simplest of economic terms is a resultant factor behind what the world is facing. We are seeing a higher demand on commodities and thus higher prices, especially minerals such as gold, silver, and copper because there is simply more demand for it. 

On top of all this – it bothers me somewhat that I am seeing so much cyclones, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunami’s – to be honest anything can happen – for the good or for the bad. But all in all, I thank God that Our nation has continued to sail through rough seas in these times but the honest truth is this – we must be a nation that is prepared. 

Yes, on top of all our development agenda’s – what is our government’s agenda towards self sustainability? Rice – yes the wonderful, fast to cook – good to eat, rice that is fast becoming the staple in all households throughout PNG – both rural and urban – where is it grown. Does our government have any plans towards growing our own rice. We have the farmlands, we have the water we need – but how much of this is grown in PNG.

The same can be said about, lamb, chicken, flour etc – how much of this is being grown in PNG. We must understand that as a nation we have to be prepared – it does not matter if we continue to have economic growth for the next 100 years or not – we must be prepared for the worst. Having PNG – grow its own food is a priority.

You see, why I am saying this is because of this fact – before we saw this economic growth we are seeing now – God showed us how it feels to be hungry – even in a country so richly blessed. We thus must realize that yes in this time of economic growth we must also prepare ourselves or work towards a self sustainability approach that we can sustain ourselves even without Gold, Oil and LNG.

I hope a government takes this article as a warning to prepare PNG now before it is too late. Let us look back at the time of Joseph and let us not take everything for granted!

(Thoughts to ponder over the weekend- Merry Christmas All)

Nathan Dingu

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