Rice firms welcome plan to reduce imports: Tomscoll

Business, Normal

The National, Monday August 31st, 2015

 AGRICULTURE and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll says Trukai Industries and its major shareholder, Sunrise of Australia, have welcomed the Government’s initiative to reduce rice imports and increase local production.

Tomscoll said he welcomed talks and understanding reached between the two companies.

“I met with chairmen of both these companies – Laurie Arthur (Sun Rise) and Mark Robertson (Trukai Industries) and I am pleased with the outcome of the talks we had,” Tomscoll said.

“Trukai Rice has been in Papua New Guinea – involved in the rice industry for 45 years.

“So I am pleased to announce that – contrary to perceptions – both chairmen were quite impressed and enthusiastically welcomed the Peter O’Neill-led Government’s initiative to decrease imports of rice and increase local production.

“They are both well-informed about the food security issues globally and were pleased that PNG was focused on improving food security for its own people through its national rice policy.”

Tomscoll said the chairmen said food security was the most important agenda in food industry at the moment – internationally and within countries, and PNG’s initiative – to reduce imports and grow more rice locally using lessons learnt –  was highly responsible and commendable.

“Despite what the critics have thought, the chairmen have expressed wholeheartedly support and applauded the move towards the food security focus of the rice policy,” Tomscoll said.

“They are committed to ongoing and long term partnership with the Government of PNG in relation to its policy on rice and their commercial investment and interest.

“In return I have assured them that their place and participation in the domestic rice market is recognised by the Government, Department of Agriculture and Livestock and Trukai Industries will forge a committee that will guide this rice development partnership,” he said.