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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 13) – The once booming copra industry in Papua New Guinea is in danger of collapse, says opposition leader Peter O’Neill.

He strongly appealed for all industry stakeholders to assess the situation as a matter of priority and assist the Government to put in place the necessary remedies.

"I am particularly concerned, because the coconut industry alone supports over 2.5 million people in this country," the Opposition leader said. "Its economic potential is valued at K300 million (US$96.9 million) per annum. Since its deregulation in 2002, this industry is now facing total collapse. It is, therefore, of paramount importance that the Government addresses the current state of the coconut industry."

O’Neill called on Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to act immediately to save the nation’s oldest industry.

"I wish to further point out that since 1985, successive ministers for agriculture and livestock had continuously failed to table an annual report on the coconut industry. Perhaps the Prime Minister can confirm this is the current situation with all the statutory organisations in the agriculture sector and not just the coconut industry," he said.

May 16, 2005

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:


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