The company engaged to buy betelnut from the Central people and resell it in retail outlets has started purchasing the nuts today.
Askopina Limited rolled out its trial program today, purchasing twenty kilogram bags of betelnut at a cost of eighty kina each.
The trial program will run for two months and a formal launching will be held in October, if the program is successful.
Though it is a trial program, hundreds of betelnut growers from the Kairuku Hiri electorate see this as a relief.
Since the betelnut ban came into effect last year, the people have been greatly affected as many of their nuts were being purchased at a cheaper price.
But today, they loaded trucks with bags of these green nuts and took them to the new market location at Brown river to sell.
Kairuku Hiri Betelnut committee Chairman, Andrew Kavana, said the company will buy the nuts only on Thursdays.
Mr Kavana said the market is only for the people of Kairuku Hiri, and sellers coming in from Kerema can continue to sell theirs at the Roburogo market.
The company will husk the nuts, pack them in plastic bags, and resell them to two thousand licensed retailers.
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