Community to benefit from plantation project

Business

By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
THE people of Tikana in Kavieng, New Ireland, will benefit from a forest plantation development project in the area following the signing of an agreement yesterday.
The agreement was signed between the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA), Tikana LLG and the Tikana Tree Plantation Landowners’ Association Inc.
Association president Henry Penni said landowners would support the project.
“The process for the project actually started 31 years ago,” he said.
The manager for forest plantation development and management with PNGFA, Francis Vilamur, said the area was previously a re-afforestation project.
“Right now the project has been earmarked for commercialisation, which means the harvesting of the plantation,” he said.
“We have gone a bit beyond the commercialisation of the project.
“Trees we had planted in the 1980s have also been incorporated to be part of the project area.
“We have been consulting with the landowners (and) district administration over the project.
“We believe our consultation in the past until today has been fruitful.
“We are coming to a stage where we are in the process of signing the agreement. That will pave way for commercialisation of the project to proceed. We are happy to come this far because we have earmarked two plantation projects that are ready for commercialisation. The first one that we have worked on is the Ulabo plantation in Milne Bay.
“The progress has been good and the project will kick off shortly.
“The model we are followingtoday is the Bulolo plantation project.”
Vilamur said about K4 million will be used to carry out the initial work on the project.

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