7 May 2012

PNG government agency says Naima rice project will be economically destructive

3:11 pm on 7 May 2012

The Papua New Guinea Department of National Planning and Monitoring says 47 thousand full-time equivalent jobs, including rural and informal jobs, will be lost as a result of the Naima rice project.

In a report, released last week, the Department says the rice project will have severe and potentially devastating economic consequences for PNG.

The Post Courier reports that under the scheme landholders who are currently rice producers will be forced to stop growing and selling the crop or risk hefty fines.

The report says as well as job losses, the Naima project will mean the price of rice will increase by 64 percent immediately.

It says PNG families will also face substantial rises because of tariffs and the creation of a monopoly for Naima, giving the Indonesian-owned company full control of the PNG rice industry.

And the report says almost all the money Naima makes will end up being transferred abroad, further damaging the economy.