Maprik close to opening SME centre

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A small to medium-sized enterprises centre for Maprik in East Sepik driven by the trade of vanilla, cocoa and coffee will soon be completed, according to district development authority chief executive Joshua Himina.
The centre, started by MP John Simon, will have 21 clerks to provide technical support to SMEs.
Himina said Maprik was an economic hub which served neighbouring districts such as Yangoru-Saussia, Wosera-Gawi, Ambunti-Dreikikir and Lumi and Nuku in West Sepik.
On Tuesday, the rural town hosted Governor Allan Bird, administrator Dr Clement Malau and Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis.
Himina said they stopped at Maprik to visit major projects in the district.
The delegation visited Maprik Hayfield Airport, Maprik Rural Hospital and Institute of Medical Research, amongst others.
Maprik mayor Paul Dingu said the current vanilla boom at Maprik had greatly boosted the local economy and people’s living standards.
He said the prices of vanilla on street markets were going for K800 to more than K1000 a kilo.
Providing security was a challenge, however, Dingu said the district promoted its local SMEs in town by allowing growers and buyers to trade on the streets in Maprik town without restrictions.
Bird is keen to develop agricultural projects both for food and income.

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