A landowner company in East Sepik Province is determined to see its oil palm project get off the ground, despite criticism from politicians and pressure groups.
The Turubu Landowners are spearheading the Turubu Oil Palm Project. It is the first impact project initiated by landowners in the country.
Turubu Oil Palm Project is an hour’s drive from Wewak Town, depending on the road condition. The project covers 10, 000 hectares of the Sepik Plains, with more than 5,000 oil palm trees already planted.
It was initiated by the landowners in 1987, but the actual project kicked off in 2010.
The landowners are resilient, despite the challenges, and are clear about their intentions of the project being politicized.
Chairman of the project, Aaron Maliguwi, says close to K40 milllion was invested into the project.
Sepik Oil Palm is the company in charge of the project with 80% shares, while landowners have 20%. Benefits will directly flow to the landowners.
He said, three factory mills will be set up in 2015 with full scale production to begin by 2017.
The project has opened up much of the area with road links, something they’ve never experienced before.
A number of community impact projects have also been initiated. Work is progressing on the Turubu High School and Police Station.
Wealth and employment creation for the locals is the driving force behind the project. So far, 5,000 locals are employed, and this number is expected to increase to 20, 000 in 2017.
The landowners are aware of the issues faced by the company, but are supportive of the project.
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