Three praised for launching of mushroom, rice projects

August 18, 2017

Source: The National | By ZACHERY PER

CHINA’S economic counsel Liu Linlin has praised three key people instrumental in the establishment of juncao (mushroom) technology and dry land rice projects in Eastern Highlands.

Linlin yesterday said former Eastern Highlands adviser for natural resource Brian Wai, former Eastern Highlands Governor Peti Lafanama and juncao technology founder Prof Lin Zhanxi had been instrumental in bringing the mushroom and dry land rice projects to Eastern Highlands.

He said Wai worked hard to bring the mushroom cultivation and dry land rice into Eastern Highlands and Lafanama provided the financial back up and political will as governor of the province then.

He said as founder of the projects, Prof Zhanxi provided the skills, knowledge and technology to establish them some 20 years ago.

“The juncao (mushroom) project and dry land rice projects have huge potential to generate income and solve food security, give financial independence to families and alleviate poverty,” Linlin said.

He made these remarks at the handing over of juncao technology and dry land rice project equipment and graduation of 70 juncao technology trainees in Goroka yesterday.

Eastern Highlands Provincial Administrator Samson Akunai thanked the Chinese delegation that traveled from Fujian province of China, Prof Zhanxi, Wai and Lafanama for their hard work to bring the projects to Eastern Highlands.

“I assure our undivided support from the provincial administration to commercialise the projects so the people of Eastern Highlands province can feed supermarkets, hotels and all relevant markets with our mushroom and rice projects,” Akunai said.

He invited China to invest more in Eastern Highlands to further boost the sister-province relationship between Fujian Province of China and PNG.

Zhanxi said the mushroom machine had the potential to produce 2.5 tonnes of mushroom at any one time while the rice machine could produce 10 tonnes per day.

“A packet of rice seeds we are giving can be grown on 600 hectares and the bundle of grass seeds also given can be planted on 50 square metres,” he said.

Lafanama, seeing the need to put money into families’ pockets,
introduced the technology in the province.

“Seventeen years ago we established a sister province relationship with the Fujian province of China and introduced the technology into Eastern Highlands Province.

“It is good because many people in the province are farmers who can work hard to produce mushrooms and rice to feed themselves and sell surpluses for an income,” Lafanama said.

Linlin and Akunai opened the project in Goroka.


Allen outlines main challenges of lands department

August 18th, 2017 |Source: PNG Loop
By Annette Kora

The main challenge for the Department for Lands and Physical Planning has been on the particular issue of corruption.

Former minister for Lands and Physical Planning now current minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Benny Allen stated this yesterday upon handing over the portfolio to the new incumbent minister, Justin Tkatchenko.

In his outgoing address to the staff and the new minister, Allen stated that neither the lands department nor the officers are corrupt.

The lands department under took three priority projects which includes land access, the legislative review and the LEAP program which were undertaken in the last three years.

Allen also mentioned a number of challenges which the new minister will have to look at during his term in the department some of which included customary land titles, Land Act review.

He added that the challenge is the revenue collection of which he believes the department did an excellent job back in 2014 and 2015 where a door to door collection was made.

“There are lot of clients still out there who have not paid up their land taxes so there is still a need to raise more revenue. That is also the quickest in collecting revenue for the government.”

Allen said another problem that he feels the department should look into is to house the officers and workers adding that most of the officers are residing in settlements.

He adds that it has been noticed that sometimes when officers put their applications through to land board to apply for land, the land board turns them down stating that there is a conflict of interest resulting in their application being rejected.

He urged the Minister to Tkatchenko to look into the housing initiative for the workers and push and deliver the project for the department’s staff.

Payment marks historic moment for PNG rice farmers

August 18, 2017
Source: Post Courier

Sunrise and Trukai Industries board of directors have seen first-hand the progress of the expansive Markham Valley rice project, established with the cooperation of the Chingwam Rice Growers Cooperative in tour.

During the historic tour, a cheque for K84,700 for the purchase of the 140 ton of rice harvested in May was presented to the Chingwam Rice Growers Co-operative by Trukai Industries.

Trukai chairman Mark Robertson made the presentation to Cooperative chairman Michael Maran.

Other members and leaders of the Rangiampum community witnessed the occasion.

For Trukai rice development manager Humphrey Saese, the presentation was the culmination of years of dedicated planning and labour in Markham Valley.

“I have worked for over 15 years in the Markham Valley in Papua New Guinea on promoting and encouraging farmers to grow rice. There has never been a moment like today when we are able to see farmers get the support in growing rice but more importantly actual Kina being paid,” he said.

“We have a positive community response from this commercial project with overwhelming interest from farmers and landowners in the valley who are keen to give their land for rice farming.

“This was a significant milestone in the development of the rice industry in Papua New Guinea.

“The project has progressed from ‘pilot testing’ to a whole new level in rice farming in the country,” said Mr Saese.

The project involved an initial testing of 10 hectares in 2015 which saw the successful cropping and delivery of 20 tons of rice, before expanding to 40ha in the 2016-17 season for a haul of over 140 tons of paddy, now in storage for milling.

Trukai is now expanding to a 500 plus hectare rice plantation near Rangiampum and the site will be progressively expanded up to 2,000 hectares over a number of seasons, subject to relevant agreements and climatic and soil evaluations.

Tourism To Bring More Revenue For PNG

August 18th, 2017 | Post Courier

BY MELISHA YAFOITourism is now on the radar to bring in more revenue for the country.
Tourism Promotion Authority chief executive officer Jerry Agus said during the farewell of outgoing Minister Tobias Kulang and welcome of new Minister Emil Tammur that tourism was never taken as a key economic sector until recently.
Mr Agus said this was because the government has not realised its full potential and has just now captured it in its key documents like the medium term development plan, vision 2050 including the Alotau Accord Two
He highlighted that tourism was on the verge of dying until the country experienced low commodity prices which paved the way for the government to realise its potential after all mining and petroleum activities are gone.
“We see the importance of the tourism sector and the need to develop this sector so that we can support our economy. Unfortunately, tourism over the years has been suffering because poor representation at the floor of parliament and NEC meetings when the agenda of tourism is discussed as we need strong vocal people.
“But we’ve been blessed and I will say that fortunate to have a person like Tobias Kulang who have been very supportive and has helped the industry to gain support from the wider community.
I think one of the notable achievements of our former minister is the unprecedented increase over the last two years in terms of the budget funding to TPA and for the US50 million (K159million) World Bank loan to support tourism promotion in East New Britain and Milne Bay,” he said.
Mr Agus said while they are sad to let Mr Kulang go they are also excited to work with the new minister hails from a province and a district that thrives with tourism.

PNG Has Potential To Expand In LNG

August 18th, 2017 | Post Courier


Papua New Guinea has a huge potential to expand in the liquefied natural gas area.
Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said this yesterday during the business breakfast with the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Mr Botten outlined that PNG was in a tremendous position to expand in LNG production because it has more fully discovered gas resources.
He said the fields have more than 10 tcf of gas available for new investment with six and half which will be in the Elk Antelope field and extra resources from the PNG LNG fields, and Pyn’yang to add to the production value.
He said LNG can positively impact the economy with the right environment because both oil and gas can then double over the next five to seven years.
However, he said the prerequisite is for developers to be directly engaging with landowners and the country to ensure surveys are being done and fair distributions of have been made to all parties from existing projects.
Mr Botten stressed that the industry now must demonstrate the value of the projects and their value in distribution.
“We certainly need to improve our benefits for our projects and when new projects can be contemplated. Benefits delivery from the PNG LNG must improve and landowners must be paid.
“The money is there, some has already being paid and the barriers with the distribution must be removed.
Over K3 billion has been paid by the project in royalty, development levy and equity distribution to state landowners since 2014,” he said.
Mr Botten said that the oil and gas market is oversupplied due to global oil and gas prices which is relatively low as a result the market is expected to remain oversupplied early into the next decade.
He said that is a competitive scene with a growing demand for the PNG LNG market because of the low prices which will attract new customers.
“The reality is that without these sanctions of new LNG projects over the next four years or so there will be shortage of LNG by the middle of the next decade, and prices will rise as a result the economic position of the billion kina project and the financing of it will continue to be challenging.
“Discussions have commenced on further expansions of LNG and developments on Papua LNG might occur. It is now essential for the new government and all stakeholders for the next phase of the industry’s development,” he added.

Women’s Seats on Card



PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill wants to bring back for debate the proposal to reserve 22 seats in Parliament for women.

He told a breakfast meeting with the business community in Port Moresby yesterday that he would bring it up with his coalition partners and Opposition MPs.

The proposal is to have two governors – one male and one female – in each of the 22 provinces. It guarantees at least 22 women in the House.

He said it should not stop women from contesting the other 89 Open seats.

“I’m quite disappointed that there is no woman is in this parliament,” O’Neill said.

“Woman’s representation in parliament has been a subject of discussion for many years. Even the previous government had tried to do some legislative reforms to bring more representation of women into parliament. But those who objected most were women themselves.”

A motion to have 22 reserved seats for women in Parliament was defeated in the House in 2014 after intensive lobbying.

But O’Neill said he would discuss the idea again with his coalition partners and Opposition MPs before it could be re-tabled in Parliament.

“I can assure you that I will be discussing this with our coalition partners and see if we can get the reserved seats – bring some women representatives into parliament as appointed members,” he said.

Digicel Foundation chief executive Beatrice Mahuru brought up the issue during yesterday’s breakfast. She asked O’Neill what his government planned to do before the next general election in 2022 to address the lack of female representation in Parliament.

O’Neill said “going forward, we need to have a long-term solution”.

“Just appointing members to reserved seats is not the way to go into the future,” he said.

He said he supported the idea of having one male governor and one female governor “but elected by everyone” in each province. It will mean expanding to a 133-member Parliament.

“I’ve been personally supportive of that option because that immediately gives 22 women to go into parliament,” he said.

“That option does not restrict the women from running in the open seats. They can compete with their male counterparts for the open seats.

“But for the regional seats at least, you can have some fair representations.

“Those are the options we will look at over the course of this term (of parliament). I will prefer a bipartisan approach in this regard. We will start talking with our colleagues on the other side and see how we could go.”

Museum Planned For APEC Haus

August 18th, 2017 | Post Courier


Prime Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday announced plans to have the APEC Haus, converted into a museum after the country hosts the 2018 APEC summit.

Mr O’Neill, who was the guest speaker at the 2017 Prime Minister’s Breakfast organised by the Business Council of PNG (BCPNG). The event which was packed to capacity.

Prior to announcing these plans, Mr O’Neill clarified that, contrary to the assertions of critics that the government was spending billions of kina to host this event was not true.

“We don’t have billions to spend to host APEC summit. The government is trying to deliver this in a most cost effective manner possible.

“As I said some of the infrastructure which is APEC related is what we will use in the future, like the APEC Haus.

“Once the event is finished, we will convert it into a museum to display our culture, artifacts that our kids can go and visit rather than it be hidden out there at Waigani

“It will be on main treet so our kids can see what our country has to offer.

“We are working towards developing a world class museum. I am sure many business leaders travelled to places like Berlin and visited the museums and seen the PNG artifacts sitting there and the collection they have, they are world class.

“Rather than others having access, our people need to have access to a world-class collection so we are working to developing one. It will be something that will be here in 100 years time,” he said.

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