INITIAL discussions are taking place between the Pomio district administration in East New Britain and landowners of the now run down North Drina plantation with the aim to establish an agriculture nucleus estate on the plantation.
The establishment of the agriculture nucleus estate would pave the way for other government services like health and education currently lacking in the west Pomio-Mamusi area.
Recently a team led by North Drina Nucleus Estate coordinator Pius Maka and west Pomio-Mamusi LLG manager, Nyros Aume visited Totongpal and Kaiton villages to gauge landowners’ views on proposals.
Mr Maka said K150,000 under the National Agricultural Development Programme was now in the Pomio district treasury accounts awaiting draw down of funds to fund the establishment of the estate and that was pending successful negotiations with the traditional landowners.
He said under the scheme, interested farmers would be allocated individual blocks to cultivate cash crops on and there would be a central processing facility where these crops would be process after being harvested.
Mr Maka said the original idea to establish the estate stemmed from an earlier survey conducted by the district administration which found that most government services were currently centered on the Palmalmal and Pomio areas within the vicinity of Jacquinot Bay.