13 Jun 2003

PNG to promote agriculture with new incentives

4:00 pm on 13 June 2003

The Papua New Guinea government's sweeping new incentives for agriculture have been welcomed as bringing a green revolution to the country.

The prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, announced the package in Kimbe last week in a ceremony at the country's largest oil palm operation.

They include tax deductions for research, tax credits and cuts to corporate tax, lower income tax, duty free machinery, reductions on excise on diesel, the removal of foreign exchange controls and the removal of tax assessments on dividend payments for shareholders..

Our correspondent, Peter Niesi, says the industry is predicting that package of incentives will lead to a boom in agriculture.

"Indication from one of the board chairmen of the oil palm companies in particular has been that he has considered it basically as a green revolution introduced by the prime minister, and from the New Britain Palm Oil managing director he said this is likely to increase investment and this could give companies that are already involved in agriculture more money to spend in research and extension work. And the resulting effect is that more investors could be lured into Papua New Guinea."