The National, Wednesday February 26th, 2014
THE people of Maprik, East Sepik have been encouraged to engage in small business to spur the local economy with a K2 million funding.
Maprik open member John Simon said he was trying to help his people by promoting small cottage industry that would produce consumer items for sale across the country.
“Instead of exporting raw products and importing manufactured ones, we should be able to sell in the local market items such as cooking oil, peanut butter and other many more,” he said.
Simon believed the cottage industry could help his people generate income for their daily needs.
“To start this, we have committed K1 million with support from the PNG Cocoa board and the minister for Agriculture and Livestock, who is allocating a further K1 million,” he said.
Simon said they had K2 million to start the rehabilitation of cocoa nursery this year, Simon said.
“It is about time for us to see a consumer product on the shelf of a major super market that was produced in Maprik,” he said.
Simon said the Maprik business association (MBA) was created apart from Maprik district credit scheme (MDCS) to help small and the less-fortunate get low-cost business loans.
“Through the MBA scheme, locals can take out loans from K500 to K5,000.
“However, if they are after a bigger amount, they can borrow from the MDCS.”
For the people in Maprik, cocoa had been their main source of income for many years until their cocoa trees were destroyed by the pod borer.
Simon said planting other cash crops would help the people generate income until the cocoa industry was revived.
“Maprik district alone needs more than K10 million, so we have invited other stakeholders such as Olam International through its Outspan PNG Ltd to help us with funds and in securing assistance from donors,” he said.