Mi Ripot Momase News

Visitors impressed with rubber revival efforts

 The Department of National Planning and Monitoring (DNPM) has expressed confidence that rubber can be revived to its heydays and provide high value returns for the people of Angoram in East Sepik.

This follows a ‘monitoring and evaluation’ (M&E) visit to Gavien rubber resettlement blocks on earlier this week by a technical team comprising of officers from the DNPM and Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) respectively.

The M&E stemmed from a K40, 000 funding by the Government was to establish a new rubber nursery at Gavien and the cup lump buying under the Government’s price support program.  

The visit was fully funded and led by Rubber Board of PNG Chairperson, Josephine Kenni with support of rural Angoram initiative.

Hapma singsing group that welcome the delegation at Gavien

Assistant Secretary of the economy branch in DNPM, Jenny Bire Tumun, when addressing rubber farmers at Gavien said she is impressed with the hard work the farmers put to meet requirements of the rubber farming.

“We’ve seen reports and Gavien is one of them. We are impressed with the reports and now we are here to see the actual thing and we are more than impressed. We are feeling the pains of the farmers, Ms Kenni and the (rubber) industry. We cannot do much but we will help push the papers that are what we do at planning to try and secure (additional) funding.

“But from the funding we’ve given the industry our role is to go on monitoring whether you’ve done the job you have planned to do or not. That’s the reason we accompany the Chairlady here today,” said delegation’s team leader”, Tumun explained.

The team was particularly impressed with the work of the young Angoram-based PNG Rubber Industry Officer, Florian Pai. Within six months he was able to establish a fully-fledged 2 x 14 clone’s nursery holding blocks with 14,000 root stocks in and ready for budding.

Part of the 14,000 young rubber root stocks that is ready for clone budding at the Gavien nursery

 An additional three hectares have been ploughed and ready for rehabilitation next year. He even constructed a bush material field office with the help of local farmers.

Florian was rewarded with a brand new motorbike by the PNG Rubber Board to support his logistics. 

“We are impressed with the K40, 000 you were given. You’ve done so much; we can see the energy in you. We believe in young leaders and you are a leader in this industry. Program of rubber needs to be embedded in the district program to make bigger impact,”Tumun added. 

DNPM’s First Assistant Secretary, Social Sector division, Rose Koyama described the efforts in reviving rubber in Angoram as “brilliant leadership.

Koyama explained that as public servants they can only push papers and provide advice and recommendation however support can be given not only from the government but from private sectors and individuals as well.

The Gavien rubber project was established in the late 1960’s under an ADB funding. Under its resettlement scheme farmers applied and were allocated with 2-3 hectares blocks to plant rubber which they sell cup lumps to the processing factory. It was around 1997 that the factory closed, interest decimated and farmers resorted to cocoa and other cash crops.

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