The National, Monday 17th June 2013
NORTHERN Governor Gary Juffa has called on the Government to come up with stringent measures to ensure farmers benefit from the oil palm industry.
Juffa said oil palm operating companies and international finance companies were reaping the benefits while farmers struggled.
“This industry is a revenue earner for Papua New Guineans but much of it is taken back by the corporate work via taxes and fees they charge and, therefore the government must intervene to regulate the industry to ensure farmers have a fair go,” he said.
“It’s a sad situation of paying to earn a living and being taxed on that effort and on that profit by powerful corporate forces raking in substantial profits while the ordinary farmer is constantly struggling in this back-breaking industry and sees the fruits of his labour taxed for all manner of services.
“Growers do not have a savings and loans society. They do not have medical or retirement benefits, they give up substantial land for oil palm and are not receiving any help from the government in benefiting from this industry.”
Juffa said he conducted a brief assessment of the situation after concerns and complaints were raised by oil palm farmers and workers in the province that they were over-taxed and barely surviving while the oil plam company and foreign employees were living in luxury.