By Nadia Kaumi

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec. 30) - New Ireland has become the second province in Papua New Guinea to establish "cooperative societies" aimed at economic development.

The first group of cooperative societies was launched by Central province on Nov. 29 by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare in Port Moresby.

Trade and Industry Minister Paul Teinsten officially launched the New Ireland Cooperative Societies last week in Kavieng. 

Such societies were functioning in New Ireland from the 1940’s to 1970’s under the New Ireland Native Society Association (NINSA). The Minister said the launch marked the rebirth of these societies. 

He said the aim of the societies was to encourage effective and meaningful participation of ordinary rural people in economic activities to enhance their prosperity and well-being and not to become bystanders watching the depletion of their own resources.

He said the Department of Trade and Industry, through its cooperative societies revitalization and development project, is targeting the involvement of the people in the rural areas of this province to increase production of agricultural export commodities. This includes those in sectors like fisheries, forestry and manufacturing.

He said the cooperative society movement is seen as a vehicle not just to implement policies under the ministry but also important to implement complementary initiatives that come under other ministries such as the food security, housing and micro-finance policies. 

Mr Teinsten said the cooperative society’s movement is in line with the government’s export-driven economy recovery program.

December 30, 2003

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