World Rainforest Movement

ADB and Smallholders Agriculture Projects in Papua New Guinea

Briefing Paper prepared by Lee Tan, Australian Conservation Foundation/Friends of the Earth Australia

“We, the landowners are developing and will continue to develop OUR LAND on our own term. We therefore sternly warn all those parties involved in wanting to use OUR LAND for oil palm to STAY OUT! Any attempt to bring oil palm on our land will be strongly resisted”

Extract from a newspaper advertisement put out by a group of landowners in PNG, February 2003

Oil Palm in PNG

There are four major oil palm projects in PNG, situated in the provinces of West New Britain, Oro, Milne Bay and New Ireland respectively. Oil palm is now the country’s largest agriculture foreign exchange earner for the country, ahead of the long-standing PNG cash crop, coffee. At present all oil palm producing provinces except New Ireland are of the Nucleus Estate model with a ‘parent’ palm oil company predominantly foreign owned. The West New Britain oil palm project has been singled out as the blue print of the successes of agro-industry and the champion of the Nucleus Estate Scheme model.

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