Governor plants the seeds of agribusiness for Hela

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DRIVING agribusiness will provide direct interventions to improve individual livelihoods, says Hela Governor Philip Undialu.
Undialu told The National yesterday that though Hela is a resource-rich province in terms of oil and gas deposits, not everyone was benefiting from the extractions of these resources.
“It’s only a few people that benefit and the majority of our people are not benefiting from the oil and gas extraction in the province.
“That’s why, our focus is on building the welfare of individuals and that we can achieve through driving the agriculture sector and agribusinesses,” Undialu said.
He said the provincial government in partnership with the LR group from Israel established Piwa agro at Tari, producing around 8000 chickens per month and Koroba Agro in the Koroba-Lake Kopiago electorate producing around 11,000 eggs per month.
“When you look at the benefits of these agro business, they are generating a fair bit of income into the community.
“For instance, we have more than 30 local workers for Koroba Agro and if they are paid K350 per fortnight, you are looking at around K10,500-plus injected to the village every two weeks.
“In a month, it’s more than K20,000 put directly into people’s pocket,” Undialu said.
He said the same went for Piwa Agro and the price of eggs which used to be K1.50 per egg now cost 70 toea.
“Our focus is to build the welfare of individuals and we believe to achieve that through driving investments in the agriculture sector.” Undialu said the chicken and the eggs were already on the shelves in shops and their plan was to expand the capacity and produce around 50,000 eggs and chickens every month.
He said the total investment made to establish the chicken farm was around K20million and the provincial government owned 80 per cent while the LR Group ownsed 20 per cent.
“Our next target is Wigman coffee and that will be the biggest agribusiness we will drive in the province with the aim to train around 5000 farmers and plant around 15million coffee trees.”
Undialu said feasibility studies for Wigman coffee was done and they would launch the project with investment details very soon.

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