PNGFA pays K50,000 to Aridagin clan

Normal, Sports


MARKHAM villagers are beginning to realise the benefits of doing away with their old habits of starting fires in their expansive grassland.
Forestry managers last Friday at Tumua village in the Umi-Atzera local level government constituency, during which over K50,000 in cash and cheque was handed over to a local clan group for a forestry project.
A total payment of K50,417.40 was made to the Aridagin clan’s Incorporated Land Group for 305 acres of their Ngaru Number 1 land portion 245-C in which the clan had a lease leaseback agreement with  the PNG Forest Authority to plant trees.
The agreement was done in 2002 and trees were planted.
The actual number of tree planted had not been disclosed.
The Ngaru Number 1 land, which is situated adjacent to the current forestry plantation at Umi, along the highlands highway, was part of some 2,500 acres of land which the Aridagin clan owns and was willing to lease to developers.
A deed of agreement was signed between the two parties to strengthen their memorandum of agreement until a proper lease agreement was ready.
Of the total amount paid, K41,250.60, which was the outstanding payment since 2002, was paid in cheque while another K9,166.80, the lease payment for last year and this year, was paid in cash.
The PNG Forest Authority is paying an annual lease payment of K4,583.40 which is equivalent to K15 an acre.
PNGFA tree plantations manager, Francis Vilamur, told the Aridagin clansmen, women and children who turned up in numbers to receive their payments last Friday that the lease leaseback agreement of Ngaru Number 1 land, was the first in the country.
Vilamur told the people that there had never been one lease leaseback agreement anywhere in the country where PNGFA had gone into.
He urged the people to be proud and work together with PNGFA to make the project successful. 
Vilamur told the people to plant food crops like corn, bananas, cassava and others, in between the trees.
He told the people that this would discourage grasses from growing and there would not be any bush fires.