PNG CATTLE RANCH GETS $849,000 GRANT

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 31, 2008) - The Zifasing Cattle Ranch in the Markham Valley, Morobe Province, has finally received much needed money to rehabilitate the cattle farm.

A total of PGK2.3 million [US$849,000] was yesterday delivered to the farm by Health and HIV/AIDS Minister and Huon MP Sasa Zibe. The money is from the PGK10 million [US$3.6 million] allocated to the Huon district for development projects.

Mr. Zibe, when handing the money to the farm, said it was part of his district development plan and urged the people to work together to rehabilitate and develop the cattle project. Having been established in 1978, it is now 30 years and the support by the Huon district administration through its PGK10 million district funds is to revive the ranch.

Zibe said PGK2 million from the initial amount would be for the operations of the cattle ranch while PGK300,000 would be used to assist ranch-holders on a small-scale basis.

The Zifasing Ranch would become the breeding ranch for cattle to expand markets within Morobe and elsewhere.

Zibe stated that the Livestock Development Corporation (LDC) would work closely with the project and would appoint two representatives from the landowners to be on the ranch board. He urged a strong partnership to see the project progress in the Huon District, saying all landowners needed to mobilize their land to see that the cattle project became a success. He said the strength of the project depended on the people themselves and it was time to change from past failed leadership.

"Papua New Guinea is blessed with a lot of resources and people have to utilize their resources despite the lack of government or mission not attending to your needs," Zibe said.

Other projects in the area that have also been given funding include PGK700,000 for cocoa and PGK500,000 for teachers houses.

A spokesman for the ranch welcomed the assistance, saying they had waited for a long time for it. Youth leader Steven Bail said the commitment shown by Zibe to revitalize the cattle ranch was lauded.

Mr. Bail assured the support of youths for the project. He said the previous leadership tried hard but did not achieve much because of the lack of support.

"We are determined to see the fruits of this project," he said.

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