Call in PNG for more commitment from resource companies

10:30 am on 28 January 2020

A Papua New Guinea business leader wants future resource developers to help set up food production and training facilities long before they start building their plants.

Food production in Papua New Guinea

Food production in Papua New Guinea Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The chair of the National Research Institute, Wilson Thompson, who has also head the Farmers and Settlers Association, said in the past big promises were made about employing locals and using local food.

But he said those local workers needed to be upskilled before the plants were built and vegetable growing needed to be encouraged before the workers arrived, but that did not happen.

Mr Thompson said that must be part of the government's negotiating position with resource companies.

"They have signed an agreement last year, saying the project will start three years down the line, but what are they doing in between? So once the third year comes they would have trained no one.

"Nobody would be ready to get into these projects. Which defeats the whole purpose of signing these agreements in the first place."