BUKA COPRA GROWERS BALK AT SHED RENTAL

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By Tom Kathoa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 31) - Copra growers and producers in Bougainville have criticized the payment of rental fees to the Kokonas Indastri Koporesen for the use of a copra shed on Buka Island.

They said the shed was built using aid money from the European Union and any payments by Coconut Products Company Ltd. should be made to them, because they were the recipients of the shed.

The old shed was burnt and destroyed at the height of the Bougainville crisis.

Coconut Products acting general manager Paul Jamison told The National they are leasing the copra shed from Kokonas Indastri Koporesen and are, therefore, paying rent to KIK who is the legal owner of the shed.

Jamison said CPL went to Buka to do business at the time when copra growers and producers were finding it hard to cash valueless checks from the then Copra Marketing Board.

Coconut Products employs about 1,700 people in the East New Britain, New Ireland and North Solomons provinces.

He said the shed issue is something for Buka growers and KIK to solve.

September 1, 2004

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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