13 Sep 2010

Call for "immediate rehabilitation programme" for PNG coconut palms

10:14 am on 13 September 2010

The managing director of Papua New Guinea's Coconut Industry Corporation is calling for an immediate rehabilitation programme for the country's palms.

Tore Ovasuru says PNG has more than 260-thousand hectares planted in coconut palms and because more than half of them were planted in the 1940s they're now senile.

He says replanting those trees is very important if the coconut industry's to be retained but funding is a major constraint.

"We have actually made submissions to the government to support us with that rehabiltiation, replanting programme. What we are projecting is maybe another 10, 20 million within next five to ten years, yes."

Tore Ovasuru says the coconut industry is the oldest industry in Papua New Guinea.

A biological agent has been released this year for the second time in an attempt to control an infestation of the rhinoceros beetle in Port Moresby's ornamental coconut palms.