Madang may join West New Beitain as an Oil Palm producer following concerns over disease affecting cocoa and coconut trees inthe province.
Madang Governor Jim Kas hinted that when he urged cocoa and coconut farmers in Madang to look at Oil Palm a substitute.
Oil Palm farming hasn’t been much talked about in this region where cocoa and coconut are predominant. Bet Governor Jim Kas said he is concerned thatthe farming ofthe two cash crops might be affected by new plant diseases which have already affected cocoa and coconuts in Madang.
“The people of Madang must go in to Oil Palm. I feel that we havethe land to do so especially to join from Ramu Sugar to Middle Ramu and most probably to Sepik River,” says Kas.
He says he wants to maintain small scale business activities inthe province by introducing oil palm farming to support local farmers who are most likely to havetheir cocoa and coconut trees destroyed bythe plant diseases.
Madang province should look intothe future he says, andthe provincial government of Madang is ready to assist farmers and landowner groups inthe oil palm business.
It’s a concern for the governor that in a few years’ timethe two cash crops might not be able to be exported, and he said whilethe problem hasn’t been fully developed yet certain measures has to be taken.
Despitethe negative implications ofthe oil palm farming, Governor Kas believes its benefit will outweigh its cost.
It also comes asthe SME Summit in Madang discusses Agriculture and Small Business Growth, but he said this will all depend on landowners – those who are willing to give uptheir land to developthe business.