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The big bird is scarce delicacy in highlands

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, February 19, 2009) – ENGA Governor Peter Ipatas does not want to be outdone and has added cassowary meat to the menu for the NEC [National Executive Council] meeting in Wabag next week.

Cassowary meat, which is scarce and a delicacy in most parts of the Highlands, will dominate the meals for the duration of the NEC meeting.

A member of the organising committee told the Post-Courier that last year Enga came out in force to welcome the Cabinet and donated more than 50 pigs.

"This year, we would like to do something different ... we want the ministers who are so used to having pork or chicken or beef for meals to have cassowary meat,’’ he said.

The official said this was also to make the NEC meeting in Enga a memorable one and let them appreciate what Enga could produce and show its capabilities to welcome important people.

He said the province was well prepared for the NEC and everyone was looking forward to receiving them.

Cassowaries are scarce and most of them are caught in the thick jungles. Some are domesticated.

However, they are not as common as pigs and therefore are expensive and used in compensation, bride prices and other important occasions.

The ministers start moving in on Tuesday and the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, arrives on Wednesday for the Thursday NEC meeting.

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