The National, Thursday 20th September, 2012
COMMERCE, Trade and Industry Minister Richard Maru is disappointed with the progress of two agriculture projects in East Sepik and says he plans to bring the matter up in cabinet.
Maru took a whirlwind tour of the project areas on Wednesday and observed that logging activities were accelerating at a much faster pace than oil palm development.
The projects are the Nungwaia Bongoas large scale agriculture project in the Ambunti-Dreikikir and Wosera-Gawi districts, and the Turubu oil palm project in Wewak district.
Maru said: “There is a small area at Turubu that has recently been planted even though the foreign company had been there for four years while the much publicised Nungwaia Bongos project only has a very small nursery.
“I have sensed that these foreign companies came here for logging under the guise of developing oil palm.”
He said there was no evidence of infrastructure development at Turubu.
“I will now seek national court intervention on behalf of the government to stop the company from logging and concentrate on oil palm.”
He said logging at the Nungwaia Bongoas project area would be suspended until the developer planted the first 5,000 hectares of land with oil palm, and evidence of capital things, evidence of capital to develop the project.