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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 26) - The New Ireland Provincial Government (NIPG) wants to work hand in hand with Agmark Pacific Limited in setting up cocoa buying points in strategic locations around the Papua New Guinea province.

[PIR editor’s note: Agmark Pacific Ltd. is a Papua New Guinea company based in Talina, Kokopo, East New Britain, that buys and exports cocoa beans, vanilla, coffee and copra]

In a letter to Agmark Pacific Limited, Chairman for Primary Industry in the NIPG Benjamin Remesen said areas such as the southern east coast and west coast part of the province including the west coast central New Ireland seriously lacked accessibility to appropriate transportation and marketing outlets.

He said these buying points should be legally established with encouragement of minimum spin-off business like trade stores or whole sales to service the rural cocoa growers.

Upon setting up the buying points in strategic locations of the province, NIPG strongly recommended that the company considers exporting produces out of the Kavieng port so that maximum benefit can be received by the rural cocoa producers and simultaneously the provincial government through derivation grant. Mr. Remesen said the government will support any proposals within the nature of the request to ensure they not only provide maximum benefits to the growers but also empower them to plan and make their own decisions regarding the development of their rural communities.

He further said it was in the best interest of the Chan-led government to strengthen its partnership with the private sector encouraging more participation into the agricultural industry.

Remesen commended Agmark Pacific Limited for providing the much needed marketing and shipping services for their rural growers during these hard economical times. "However in the spirit of good governance and transparency NIPG will continue the relationship only if it is legally implemented," he said.

Remesen also said it was envisaged that the PNG Cocoa Board and the Cocoa and Coconut Institute of PNG will contribute their share of ideas and resources to make this amicable solution for the rural growers of New Ireland Province.

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