PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has given his full backing for the proposed multi-million kina Turubu oil palm project in East Sepik province.
Sir Michael said such major agriculture project would bring with it immense benefit in terms of infrastructure development and the Government would stand to see that it was developed in the best interest of the landowners, the developer and the people of East Sepik.
He was reacting to questions by Turubu local level government (LLG) president David Kausik, who wanted to know the Government’s stand in relation to the project amid negative allegations raised by certain groups and individuals.
Sir Michael who is also East Sepik regional MP told a huge crowd at Mandi village, in Turubu during his recent electoral visit that the National Government had given its blessing for the project to go ahead and that no one would stop the developers from pursuing the project.
Initial work on the project has started, just three months after the machineries arrived in the province.
The construction of a speedway from Turubu Bay to reach Samawia on the Sepik plains is part of the early works, to set the stage for the official ground breaking ceremony of the project.
Once completed, the project would have 56 major plantations with 30,000 palm trees each, a wharf and township with the speedway linking both investment infrastructure and an oil mill.
Landowner company Limawo Holdings, in a joint venture with Wewak Agriculture Development Ltd (WADL), will head the project.
Wewak MP Jim Simatab was the first to publicly voice his support four months ago when he presented K200,000 to the project joint venture partners.
Mr Simatab said while certain non-government organisations (NGOs) were concerned of the environment, they would not stop the progress of the project as the project was the way the world has developed.
Also the vice-minister for agriculture, he said countries throughout the world had utilised their agricultural commodities and minerals to become industrialised nations today and PNG should move in the same direction.