PNG OIL PALM PLANTATION RECOVERS AFTER FLOOD

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Production resumes in devastated Oro province

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 3, 2008) - Production levels at the Higaturu Oil Palm Estate have increased as accessibility to mills improved after floods devastated Oro province.

Higaturu Oil Palm Ltd workers said roads and bridges damaged by floods have already been restored, thus giving easy access between plantations and milling plants.

The roads and bridges leading towards Higaturu are essential links to its associated estates, workers said.

Field manager Ratnam Somoo told The National the oil palm trees have not been damaged by silt carried by floodwaters as feared earlier. The company has over 10,000 ha of planted estate and is focusing on its own company productions.

"In fact, I have never seen better productivity from Higaturu as we are experiencing now," he said.

Higaturu is focusing on company production especially from more than 5,000 smallholders that comprise farmer-families normally tending to one to four hectares of palm trees.

Mr. Somoo said the growers are aggressively pursuing production and have contributed immensely to the rise in output levels over the past few months.

HOPL is owned by CTP Holdings (PNG) Ltd.

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