Papindo’s buai venture worries villagers

Momase, Normal

The National, Thursday July 11th, 2013

 A VILLAGER is worried that a Papindo-owned plantation on Madang’s north coast is growing and selling betelnut in bulk to buyers and robbing the villagers of their income-earning opportunity.

Kudas villagers raised the issue after attending last week’s small to medium enterprises (SMEs) summit in Madang.

A village youth and chairman of the Saky organisation, Michael Balias, said apart from growing, buying and selling cocoa, Papindo had been growing and selling betelnut.

“After reading and listening to presentations of the SME summit, I think it should be us, locals, selling betelnut in bulk and not big companies like Papindo,” Balias said.   

Another villager, Nelson Kinamun said the company was competing with villagers, who could not afford to match its low prices.

They are appealing to Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Richard Maru to fast-track the policy on small businesses for nationals.