Province will back oil palm industry

Islands, Normal

The National, Tuesday October 8th, 2013

 THE West New Britain provincial executive council has reaffirmed its commitment to support for the oil palm industry as it recovers from the economic difficulties it is facing.

The West New Britain provincial government said it would stand ready to support the oil palm industry get out of the current sluggish economic climate.

Governor Sasindran Muthuvel said oil palm was the core industry in the province and the current downturn in economic climate was of great concern to the provincial government.

He said the provincial government would explore avenues such as providing subsidies for fertiliser and transport to support the oil palm growers.

Muthuvel said the provincial government would revive the copra industry and revisit other provincial policies, such as the Liquor Licensing Act to allow for changes to make it more effective. 

He said the provincial government must branch out into other industries to broaden the internal revenue base.

Muthuvel said this when welcoming his six provincial executive council members who were sworn into office last week.

New Britain Palm Oil general manager Harry Brock said the company could continue to ensure that maximum benefit went to their shareholders which included the provincial government. 

Brock said the NBPOL faced very difficult times with low palm oil prices, unfavourable exchange rates which were improving and crumbling public infrastructure.

He said despite these factors, the company would come through the hard times and would do its their best to support the local communities.