The National, Wednesday October 9th, 2013
ALLOW me to express my views on the controversial betel nut ban.
This policy has lots of advantages if it can be put in to effect and if the people support it.
We understand that most of the city residents rely heavily on betel nut for their livelihood.
Papua New Guinea is not a poor country as perceived by others.
We are in fact a very rich nation with all the resources needed to transform this young nation into a beautiful and wealthy nation.
Many city residents oppose the NCD governor’s policy to ban betel nuts, saying that it is their only means of earning a living.
Are we saying that we do not have resources and we cannot venture into bigger and better businesses than relying on betel nuts for survival?
As a native Papua New Guinean, I do not believe in this.
If betel nut is banned:
- It will open greater opportunities for native Papua New Guineans to venture into industries such as running kai bars, investing in well-established companies through partnerships, running bus services and so on.
- This will make Papua New Guineans go the extra mile by working hard and accruing more money rather than sitting at the market getting mere 50 toea a nut.
- If people will engage in bigger businesses, then the economy of this nation will grow at a faster rate.
Another negative underlying factor imposed by betel nuts selling is the risk to raise children who are bred and raised in the streets at betel nut markets.
Many parents bear children while actively engaging in betel nut trade.
The children that are born in the streets believe and think that they are incapable of going to school and doing anything like other children.
They think they are meant to be on the streets and they develop very low self-esteem.
Therefore, I ask those who say betel nuts selling is their only means of earning to think outside the box.
I am pretty sure if betel nuts selling stopped, we will surely venture into bigger businesses like what our Asian friends are doing in our country.