A high-level delegation is expected to travel to Kairuku-Hiri district in Central
Province today (Wed 5th Oct) to meet with landowners involved in the
new US$2 billion commercial rice project, a major investment in rice
development and agriculture in PNG.
The delegation is likely to include the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Sir
Puka Temu; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Ano Pala; Central
province Governor, Alphonse Moroi; and Kairuku-Hiri MP, Paru Aihi.
The major investment is made by Naima Agro Industry Ltd to develop 100,000 hectares
of land for commercial rice which would lead to increased benefits to landowners, employment, training, infrastructure and reduce rice imports.
The leaders are expected to meet with the landowners from the Gabadi area at
Keveone village and discuss issues relating to the establishment of the rice project. They are expected to give assurance to the people that the project is a major impact agriculture initiative that would have longterm benefits for the
district, province and the country as a whole.
This is the first of the second series of public forums being conducted by the
Department of Agriculture and Livestock and Central Provincial Administration
to seek the views of the people and explain the impact of the project.
Other forums will be held at Inauaia village on Thursday (Oct 6) for the people of
north, east and west Mekeo areas. The next day, Friday, the team will meet the
people of Roro and Paitana at the Bereina council chambers.
The team travels back to Gabadi on Saturday morning to meet the people of Pinu,
Hisiu and Manumanu at Pinu village. In the afternoon, the team will meet the
The US$2 billion project is a major investment in rice development in the country. The
investor plans to develop massive water irrigation system, dams, road networks,
airstrip, harbour, township and rice milling facilities as part of the
development in a fully integrated highly mechanised project using the state of
the art technology.
The project, once developed, should generate employment opportunities in excess of
5,000 jobs, produce over 3.0 million tons of rice, save over K500 million in
foreign exchange revenues and earn in excess of K3 billion in foreign exchange
earnings per annum. Besides the huge financial gains to the nation, positive
economic impacts to the landowners, local communities, Central Province, this
project will substantially raise the profile of the agriculture sector to new
DAL and the Central Provincial Administration have been conducting public consultations
with the landowners and communities that will be affected by the project.