Locals sell fresh produce to mine workers, catering service

Business

FARMERS living near the Basamuk Refinery Plant in the Raicoast in Madang, are selling their produce there.
According to the developer of the nickel-cobalt mine, Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd, the farmers brought the fresh fruits and vegetables to a designated spot near a creek between Ganglau and Tugyak village to be bought by a team.
Community affairs department agriculture officer Tony Gaiyu said before the refinery was built, the farmers concentrated only on subsistence gardening.
Now with the mess opened at Basamuk people are growing fruits and vegetables to be sold to the company.
“Previously due to lack of market, farmers often leave their pawpaw rotten on trees or eaten by fruit bats. It is a different story today,” Gaiyu said.
“Farmers are always harvesting ripe pawpaw and other fruits to sell for the mine workers at Basamuk.”
Locals sell pawpaw, ripe banana, pineapple and greens to National Catering Services (NCS)-Raibus, a joint venture company.
The NCS is operated by the Anitua Group which is owned by landowners of Lihir gold project in New Ireland.
Raibus is owned by landowners from Kurumbukari and Inland Pipeline of Usino-Bundi, and the Coastal Pipeline and Basamuk landowners of Raicoast.

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