Official says rubber has K60 million potential
RUBBER has the potential to produce around 12,000 metric tonnes a year with a free-on-board export value of more than K60 million, according to rubber board chairperson Josephine Kenny.
She said what they needed was an “enabling environment”.
“We intend to build a centralised factory and have a downstream in a few years.
“We can build a gum boot or tyre factory in PNG if production increase,” Kenny said.
“This will result in the ban export of cup lump. Papua New Guinea currently has two actively running mid-stream processing facilities in Kiunga NFR (North Fly Rubber Ltd) and Doa (rubber plantation) where statistics are derived in close monitoring with PNG Customs. Both factories process technically specified rubber.
“All other factories in Government managed rubber estates in Central Cape Rodney and Angoram Gavien (rubber acheme) are now dysfunctional.”
Kenny said the rubber industry created jobs for more than 300,000 smallholder farmers and used about 80,000 hectares of land.
“The rubber industry had been successful in production during the pre-independence and post-independence era, generating millions of kina that contributed immensely to the economy, created employment and supported our smallholder farmers until decentralisation of functions to the provincial governments.
“The rubber commodity is regulated by the 1963 Rubber Act which is obviously due for review.
“Rubber has a massive potential to boost the economy and generate employment opportunities if given the adequate funding support and introducing practicable policy frameworks and acts in providing the enabling environment for the commodity to thrive.”
The natural rubber growing provinces include West Sepik, East Sepik, Manus, Northen, Milne Bay Central, Gulf, Western and New Ireland.
The two factories are in Western and Central.
The redundant rubber factories are in Western, Central and East Sepik.