MINISTER AIMS TO REVAMP OIL PALM

by Paul Oeka - September 08, 2022

Photo: Hon. Francis Maneke, Minister for Oil Palm 

Oil Palm growers, investors and stakeholders need to take notice and work closely with the government to revamp the once thriving industry.

The newly appointed minister for Oil Palm Hon. Francis Maneke realizes and sees the creation of the Oil Palm industry as a way forward and a huge advance in the industry that has been subjected to indifference for the past 40 to 50 years.

Maneke who is also the MP for the Nakanai electorate in the West New Britain Province said

" It was unfortunate that over the years the cash crop had been allowed to deteriorate through lack of attention, research and development, grower incentives, downstream processing and other value adding innovations".

 "The government's vision to take back PNG is in line with the the timely creation of the the Oil Palm Ministry. Prime Minister James Marape and his PANGU led government have taken a bold stance by showing the initiative to create this ministry along with three other newly created ministries under the Marape - Rosso government, " he said.

 "With the Prime Minister's vision in taking back PNG and leading onwards to a better economic independence, the creation of the Oil Palm Ministry is a revival of the industry which will add more value towards the economy," Maneke explained.

The Minister is also very vocal about the sector and has pushed for legislations to evaluate the oil palm act so it can maximize the growers interest.

To take advantage of this positive outlook the new Oil Palm Ministry wil work hard and closely with the industry to restore the lucrative and ongoing market for the benefit of the economy amidst this hardships that are currently faced during this hard times for the sake of Papua New Guinea Oil Palm growers.

Manake is adamant that the initiative to establish the ministry is an added bonus for the growers and the country as a whole. The Oil Palm industry is sustainable in terms of its revenue and can really support the economy if there is much assistance by the government.

Furthermore he said that we must start managing our land so that we can be able to to develope it in line with the organizations that are managing PNG's climate change and global warming impacts.

Now that the Oil Palm industry has been given prominence the Minister is sure that production will increase as well as the revenue generated. This will then have a positive effect in boosting the economy.

The Oil Palm industry is to valuable to remain neglected due to its economic value and importance for the future benefit of Papua New Guinea.



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However, with regards to unskilled labour, it is no longer a high-wage economy.   Data note: The PNG Economic Database provides the weekly minimum wage of PNG going back to 1972, and the PGK-AUD exchange rate. Wikipedia provides the Australian weekly minimum wage data (hourly and weekly, on the assumption of a 38-hour week) starting from 1966. The Australian CPI is from the Australian aid tracker. There are some years where Australian minimum wage rates change more than once in a year. For such cases, we took the average as annual minimum wage rate. The data for Asia-Pacific comparisons are from the International Labour Organization and the World Bank. The different frequencies of minimum wages for each country in 2019 in the ILO’s report are adjusted to convert to weekly rates. World Bank data is used to obtain market exchange rates and PPP conversion factors. For the Goodman, et al., data go to Table 3.6 on p.61 in their report.\ Disclosure: This research was undertaken with the support of the ANU-UPNG Partnership, an initiative of the PNG-Australia Partnership, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The views are those of the authors only. This article appeared first on Devpolicy Blog (devpolicy.org), from the Development Policy Centre at The Australian National University. Stephen Howes is Director of the Development Policy Centre and Professor of Economics at the Crawford School of Public Policy, at The Australian National University. Kingtau Mambon is currently undertaking a Master of International and Development Economics at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, for which he was awarded a scholarship through the ANU-UPNG Partnership. Kelly Samof is a lecturer in economics at the School of Business and Public Policy, University of Papua New Guinea.

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