The PNG Rubber Board is now active and will soon be passing policies and relevant decisions to revive the riddled industry following a small but significant swearing-in ceremony at the Central Government Office in Port Moresby on July 2 2020.
The members of the board took two different oaths sealing their stance as policy and decision makers.
The oaths Declaration of Loyalty and Declaration of Office were taken by five members:
- Josephine Kenni – Executive Chairperson – SME and Exporter Entrepreneurs’ representative
- Kone Burana – Smallholder and Public Sector Representative
- Lawrence Miai – Rubber Association Representative
- Lee Wari – Rubber Coordinator at DAL
- Stephen Mombi – Deputy Secretary as Ex Officio
Present to witness the event was DAL Secretary Daniel Kombuk who stated that this was a significant occasion which will ensure the progress of the industry.
Kombuk said in his capacity as a scientist he is aware of the benefits of rubber and it is important that this commodity be revived again. He said rubber has many uses and benefits many people especially farmers; and he noted, for instance, one of the major projects that are currently under discussion is the proposed project of rubberized roads which has a long-term maintenance free period of 15 years.
The secretary acknowledged the re-appointed chairlady for doing a tremendous job, adding that although the commodity has somewhat experienced a fall; with Kenni heading the board he believes this can take a turn.
Secretary Kombuk in his speech also acknowledge the Agriculture Minister as a practical leader who will ensure that support is wholly given to the reviving of the rubber industry.
Speaking on behalf of the board, Deputy Secretary Stephen Mombi said the PNG agriculture sector is very old – yet it is still riddled.
“From 2009 to 2018 the agriculture sector contributed K20 billion to the economy however only K1.147 billion was given back to the sector, which is less than 1%; and in real kina terms this is about K95 Million which when divided amongst the 10 commodity boards, that’s about K9.5 million every year which is approaching 0.5% – that’s how bad planning is in terms budgetary allocation”, Mombi highlighted.
We need to take a holistic approach towards boosting this sector; there is a need to increase domestic and export revenue and increase volume of large investments”, he said.
Mombi also stated that the sector’s structure right now is no longer relevant to meet the agenda of the Government; over three decades the boards have provided the oversight to the management of each particular commodity board but production has not increased.
” For instance, there is so much being spent on board meetings alone; yet productivity of commodities has declined – there is a huge issue”, he said.
Each sector including rubber needs to come up with appropriate strategies to move their respective sectors forward; identify avenues which will and can continue to contribute to moving the sector forward, he added. [Released: July 2 2020]