Minister for Agriculture implements price incentive for copra
by Paul Oeka - January 19, 2023
Photo: Minister for Agriculture Aiya Tambua. Credit: Aiya Tambua LinkedIn Page
Minister for Agriculture Aiya Tambua has announced the new price support for copra or coconut farmers in the country.
Mr Tambua said brown coconut will now be bought at a price of K2, which is an increase of K1.1, while white coconut will be bought at K2.50, he said when visiting Madang province recently.
The Agriculture Minister's visit to Madang began with a visit to the Stewart Coconut Research in the North Coast area of the province. He was briefed on the ongoing work of the coconut research centre and how the Government could assist with its reports and recommendations through the Department of Agriculture.
Following his visit to the research centre Minister Tambua visited various coconut plantations in the area to have a close observation of the commodity. He was then shown to a local coconut nursery where he highlighted the announcement of the Copra Price Support Package.
"In the past years, Copra was bought for 90 toea for brown coconuts, but now the government has stepped in and brought the price up to K2, which is a big relief for all your local coconut farmers. White coconut, which was bought at a price of K1.50 before, will now be bought at a price of K2.”
“The current Government wants to ensure that people in the rural areas and villages must be able to earn money from their land," Minister Tambua announced.
On a national scale, Madang used to be one of the leading coconut-producing provinces. However, over the years mechanisms to support farmers and expand the industry declined. The province has now been challenged to plant more coconut trees and be competitive in the industry.
The Madang Governor, Ramsey Pariwa, said more support will be given to ensure that Madang's coconut industry is revived and developed.
"We will start making sure that Agriculture becomes a huge priority here in Madang in this new year and the following years to come," Governor Pariwa said.
The coconut industry contributes to the PNG national economy through the provision of employment and income for rural households and the generation of revenue from exporting copra, crude coconut oil (CNO), copra meal and virgin coconut oil (VCO) to overseas markets.
According to the National Population Census, about 564,328 households are engaged in coconut activities in PNG to either generate income and/or as food to sustain their livelihoods. This represents 35% of the total households in PNG or an estimated 2.6 million people of the total population.
The Agriculture Minister also presented the Coconut Industries Corporation K1 million to begin the implementation of the Copra Price Support Programme.
He also encouraged the Coconut Industries Board and Management to implement the Coconut Industry Strategic Plan 2016-2025 to the best of their abilities.
He stated that he will work as a team with the corporation to access appropriate National Government and donor funding for the successful implementation of the new pathway for the coconut industry in the coming years.
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