Island has land that can be used for agro, says Simon


AGRICULTURE and Livestock minister John Simon says Karkar Island in Sumkar, Madang, has land that can be used for agriculture.
He visited the island last week at the invitation of Sumkar MP Chris Nangoi. They toured plantations and talked to plantation owners and farmers on cocoa and copra farming.
Simon visited the Kulkul plantation owned by Biabi Enterprise.
He was given a tour of the cocoa processing fermentry and nursery by plantation owners Paul and Barbara Goodyear.
“Karkar Island used to produce cocoa in tonnes over the years but that has not been the case now as we have seen a decline in production due to the cocoa pod borer, and people resorting to other sources of income,” Simon said.
“I went around the island and saw a lot of good land that can be used to grow cocoa. So we will start rebuilding the industry and assist farmers in terms of nurseries and distribution of seedlings so they can replant.
“I will make sure that the cocoa board works with plantation owners and farmers to improve cocoa production. I have also committed K500, 000 for this programme.”