PNG COPRA GROWERS TO RECEIVE FINANCIAL HELP

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (January 12, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Ten thousand small copra growers who have yet to be paid for their produce, are to receive emergency funding through a loan from the PNG Banking Corporation.

Secured by the Copra Marketing Board (CMB), the $2.6 million loan will enable the bank to pay growers, who since last month have not been able to cash checks because the board has no money in its account.

CMB chairman, Jerry Nalau, said the board has decided to temporarily suspend copra exports for three months.

The copra growers crisis led to the sacking last week of the Copra Marketing Board's chief executive officer, James Kiele.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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