WNB to trial balsa

National, Normal

The National, Friday, June 3rd 2011

WEST New Britain is now venturing into the balsa industry to add greater wealth to its economy.
This will be in addition to its multi-million kina oil palm industry, Forests division principal adviser Peter Sanamia says.
The provincial government took the stand recently and the move is expected to generate around K50,000 to K60,000 for farmers in the coming years.
This is in addition to the K8 million-K10 million paid out by the New Britain Palm Oil Ltd each month.
Provincial administrator Stephen Raphael recently held talks with two chairmen and several farmers of two leading balsa cooperative societies in the province.
They discussed alternatives for better progress as well as to highlight the government’s focus on creating sustainable living for the rural population.
The two leading balsa cooperative societies – Nakanai Balsa Cooperative Society, in the Hoskins LLG, and the Bola-Dagi Cooperative Society, in the Talasea LLG, – are collaborating with the provincial government.
Sanamia said consultations and assessment had been carried out since 2009 between the provincial government, division of forest and farmers to bring the industry into the hands of the rural people as a means to allow them to realise its income earning potential.