Oil palm sector alone can bring K20.8bil revenue, says official
THE oil palm industry alone has the potential to bring around K20.8 billion in revenue into the country annually if the required support is given to the industry by the government in next year’s budget, an official says.
These was revealed by the board and senior management of the Oil Palm Industry Corporation (OIPC) during a visit by the vice-minister for Agriculture and Livestock Henry Amuli in Port Moresby last Friday.
OPIC acting general-secretary Leslie Wungen and financial controller Kepson Pupita said the Government did not need to look any further on how to generate substantial revenue into the country and grow the economy.
“The solution to grow our economy lies in the agriculture sector and as we all know oil palm is one industry that can make the difference in no time if given the necessary support,” Wungen said.
He said the current annual revenue from the industry was around K2.4 billion but the industry had the potential to do much better.
“The current K2.4 billion revenue generated annually comes from 133,854 hectares of oil palm owned by milling companies and 68,513 hectares from smallholder farmers,” he said.
“There are currently five new oil palm projects already being developed comprising of around 47,000ha of land and this is expected to generate around K571 million. Then, we have five more new potential projects that are being planned to cover a total of 354,000ha and this is projected to generate around K3.2 billion annually.
“Apart from these, we have the potential for developing oil palm through the Special Agriculture Business Lease and this is expected to cover around 1.2 million hectares generating around K14.6 billion revenue annually.
“So the total revenue the industry can generate annually based on our existing oil palm developments and the proposed development plans for next year, we project the revenue at K20.8 billion.”
Wungen said the problem with the industry in the past was that the Oil Palm Industry Corporation board was controlled by the milling companies.
“Now this has changed and the Government has put in place a new board which represents the smallholders,” he said.