Tag Archives: Agriculture

30 Million Hectares Intact: Tomuriesa

 

 

BY MATTHEW VARI of Post-Courier

PAPUA New Guinea currently has 30 million hectares of untouched pristine rainforest cover in the country.

This does not include an additional six million hectares currently subjected to human activities.

Minister for Forests, Douglas Tomuriesa announced the figures for the country’s forest inventory at the launch of the country’s National REDD+ Strategy (NRS) 2017-2027.

“I am pleased to inform the gathering today that about 75 per cent or 30 million hectares of our forest are still intact with very little or no human disturbances,” he said.

He said maintenance of natural resources should be recognised by the global community, and the priority of government rests with the wellbeing of the people, who own almost all the forests.

“The international community has time to involve Papua New Guinea and is able to talk with us about elements of REDD+ because of the abundance and quality of our forests.”

“We are thankful that out of these efforts and outcomes of performance-based approaches in the NRS, PNG will qualify for the revenue flows from the international climate change funds.”

“Of the 46 million hectares that constitute the total landmass of PNG, 36 million hectares, or 78 per cent, is under forest cover,” he said.

He said the country is aware of its global responsibility to protect the biodiversity of its natural forests, but other countries take on the approach.

“Our forests are critical to our development from biodiversity as well as from our source of economy perspective.”

“In PNG, forests are essential to our environment, our economy, and our society.”

Annually, the forest sector contributes significantly to the country’s GDP, and government revenues, and is a source for forest resource owners who constitute 85 per cent of the population in the rural areas.

The minister pointed out the main group in the country that needs convincing to maintain forests remains, are the landowners.

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Announcements On SABL To Be Made This Week

 

 

BY MATTHEW VARI of Post-Courier

A major announcement will be made this week on special agricultural and business lease (SABL), says Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Justin Tkatchenko.

 

These leases have been the subject of much debate both within and abroad in addressing the issues of illegally acquired land leases under the guise of the lease arrangement.

 

Mr Tkatchenko said since his appointment to the ministry, he has ensured that a high-level committee dealt with all the leases.

 

“As you know, we have set up the committee to go through every SABL file and the decision from the commission of inquiry.”

 

“With that, I will be making some very strong and firm and positive decisions on the leases that have already been investigated by the committee,” he said.

 

“There are some serious matters from these SABLs that have come up and the country will be very happy because we have had enough.”

 

He said there has been stealing of public, customary, and other land, where no consultations had ever been done, but his ministry would get to the bottom of the issues before the New Year.

 

“To all the customary landowners, the ILGs, bear with me. We are going to make sure that before the end of this year that most of these issues are resolved.”

 

Tkatchenko assured the landowners that the committee in place is a serious one that sits every week to deliberate.

 

“The committee is not just a giaman (fake) committee set up just to make us look good. They have to work and get outcomes that pleases the situation at hand.”

 

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced in November last year Cabinet’s decision to revoke all SABL titles.

 

Despite the decision, concerns were raised on the slow response of the department responsible in carrying out the revocation process.

Government Cuts Rice Imports

05:00PM 


BY GORETHY KENNETH of Post-Courier

Annually the government is spending K600million to import rice.

 

The government plans to cut the import of rice despite an increase of 5 percent annually in consumption.

 

IT will take at least five years for Papua New Guinea to start producing and exporting its own rice and for the eight million people to consume.

 

Agriculture Minister Benny Allen in his response to Menyamya MP Thomas Pelika said there are at least five companies that are in the process of producing rice locally – one of which is Naime Rice.

 

Minister Allen was taken to task by Mr Pelika during Question Time in Parliament about the Government’s plans to have rice grown locally and help with job creation for provinces like Menyamya.

K4 Billion Spent On Food Imports Annually

Source: Post – Courier

 

09:00AM 


 

PNG continues to spend K4 billion in food imports each year announced Minister for National Planning & Monitoring and Member for Yangoru-Saussi Richard Maru recently.

 

 

“But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Government will focus on replacing food imports from here onwards and the Sepik Plains is high on our list of priorities,” said Maru.

 

 

Maru said this after a recent visit to the Sepik plains with Israeli investors set to develop East Sepik through an Innovative Agro-Industry. The Innovative Agro Industry will develop an egg-laying farm, broiler meat farm, and grain production. The developer will also establish a modern cocoa plantation using Israeli technology that will produce 400 to 500 percent more yield than an average cocoa plantation.

 

 

CEO of the PNG Cocoa Board, Mr. Kautu Boutua, said with the partnership of Innovative Agro-Industry, the Board is keen to see a different result with the new technology and a new way of approaching agriculture development.

 

 

“LR Group is waiting for the Government’s equity contribution of K14 million in the joint venture between the State and the LR Group before work commences. We are going to include that in the Supplementary Budget in the next two weeks,” Minister Maru said.

 

 

The project is expected to create thousands of jobs for locals and promote wealth creation. The project will also consist of a state-of-the-art training facility that will provide training and extension services to all the farmers in the area.

Investor committed to Sepik Plains Project

Via Loop PNG

20th September 2017

Israeli investor, Innovative Agro Industry, has assured the Government and the people of East Sepik of its commitment to invest and develop several agriculture and farming projects on the Sepik Plains.

 

Chief executive officer of the Innovative Agro Industry, Lior Crystal, was part of a delegation that flew over to the Sepik Plains on Monday, Sept 18, 2017.

 

Other parties on the aerial inspection were the Australian High Commissioner to PNG, His Excellency Bruce Davis, and the CEO of the PNG Cocoa Board, Kautu Boutua.

 

The delegation was led by the Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, and Member for Yangoru-Saussia, Richard Maru.

 

The delegation was given a bird’s-eye view of the proposed site of the chicken and grain project under the Sepik Economic Zone (SEZ).

Crystal described the Sepik Plains as a beautiful landmass sitting there, waiting for development.

 

“I am here on behalf of the LR Group, Innovative Agro Industry, stating that we are committed to the development of this land. We are not only coming to develop, we are coming as an investor. We are putting our money where our mouth is,” Crystal said.

 

The Innovative Agro Industry will develop an egg laying farm, broiler meat farm and grain production.

 

The developer will also establish a modern cocoa plantation using Israeli technology that will produce 400 to 500 percent more yield than an average cocoa plantation.

 

Hela eyes boost in investment

August 21, 2017
National

Hela Governor Philip Undialu has been meeting major investors since being elected in a bid to attract more investment in the province.

 
He told The National on Saturday that he had had meetings with major investors including ExxonMobil, Oil Search, Mineral Resources Development Corporation and Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd.

 
Hela will also discuss the issue of benefit-sharing with its Southern Highlands neighbours.

 
Undialu said he would also be meeting with Porgera Joint Venture and Harmony Gold which was doing drilling at the Kili Teke Prospect in Koroba-Lake Kopiago.
He said the Kili Teke Prospect looked very promising and could be another Ok Tedi for Hela.

 
“Due diligence is yet to be done, however, it could be even bigger than Ok Tedi,” Undialu said.

 
“The prospect is very promising.”

 
Undialu said he had also met with Hela agriculture development partner LR Group of Israel and Curtain Brothers which was involved in major infrastructure projects.
He said the major issue on hand was the uncompleted task of social mapping and clan-vetting.

 
“Once this is completed then we can release equity and royalty entitlements,” Undialu said.

 
“I have confirmed with the balance sheet that MRDC now holds about K224 million for free-carry equities alone.
“About K74 million for royalties is held by the Central Bank.”

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Post Courier Online.

Call To Improve Timber Value

THE Director of PNG Forest Institute in Lae, Dr Martin Golman, has called for institutions to work together to promote the downstream processing of timber and improve its value.

 

He made this call last Friday during a workshop by several partners from PNG and Australia to enhance value-added wood processing in the country.

 

“Collaborative support from every organisation can improve downstream processing of timber in the country. Only 20 per cent of timber is processed here while 80 per cent is exported and processed overseas so we must work together to increase that,” he said.

 

Dr Golman highlighted that processing of timber in the country promoted the Governments’  policy of downstream processing.

 

“Small-scale timber producers who produce 500 to 5,000 cubic meters of timber can treat process their timber before exporting,” he said.

 

Head of the Department of Forestry at University of Technology Dr Mex Peki said that downstream processing of timber could be improved through more research.

 

“By 2030, we want more than 80 per cent of our timber to be processed here in the country. This can be achieved through continuous support from institutions,” he said.

 

The workshop is was funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, PNG Forest Research Institute, Unitech, PNG Timber and Forest Industry Training College and PNG Forest Industries Association.

via: The National [15/08/17]

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