ISRAELIS TO HELP SET UP ‘KIBBUTZ’ IN PNG

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By Peku Pilimbo

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 8) – A Kibbutz for the Koiaris?

What works in Israel may not necessarily work here, but at least the Koiaris in Papua New Guinea’s Central province want to give it a go.

A kibbutz, by the way, is a collective farm or settlement in modern Israel where the members share what everybody has produced, which could be vegetables, fruits or animal meat.

At a media briefing yesterday, it was revealed that the kibbutz system of food production will be tried in the Sogeri Valley.

Here, a group of selected community members would live in a "Kibbutz", much the same way Israelis do in their desert environs.

Israel will supply the expertise in setting up the Kibbutz, where everyone within the community works hard and shares everything everybody produces.

Koiari Local Level Government Special Purpose Authority invited Israel’s Kibbutz representative Ofer Doron to Papua New Guinea for this unique project. He arrived on Sunday.

Mr Doron met with government representatives, Koiari LLGSPA board members and other stakeholders at the Lamana Hotel yesterday.

Mr Doron said while they have the technology, knowledge and expertise to make kibbutzs in Israel work, whatever worked in Israel would not necessarily work in PNG.

But Mr Doron said they would help locals with their know-hows to develop something that suit PNG conditions.

"You have amazing resources … hopefully we can assist in how it is being used … let’s start things small and test our abilities before we move forward," said Mr Doron.

He said Israel was a desert country and they turned it into one of the leading agricultural countries in the world. The same could apply in PNG.

KLLGSPA Chairman Peter Inara said after the pilot project, they plan to extend it out to Rigo, Sohe and Rigo LLGs that make up the Koiari people.

He said their aim was to establish partnership with Israel to get technical and volunteer assistance programs going.

Mr Inara said the idea of introducing kibbutz was aimed at improving the lives of the Koiari people.

September 8, 2004

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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