Monday 16 November 2015

Buai to be packed and back on sale

Caption:  (L) Troy Tetley and NCD Governor Parkop with the signed service agreement.

Caption:  (L) Troy Tetley and NCD Governor Parkop.

Caption:  Selling of betelnut will be similar to the way it is sold in Cairns at Rusty’s Market in a more hygienic setting (picture courtesy of


Sunday, July 27, 2014 (Sunday Chronicle, PNG)

IN a positive turn of fate for avid betelnut chewers in the National Capital District- the sale of betelnut will now be back in a regulated fashion following the signing of a Service Agreement between the city’s authority and Askopina Limited.

The new arrangement follows the third phase of the NCD Commission’s crackdown on the abuse of the nut in the city of Port Moresby- to regulate the sale of the nut in a more hygienic manner at the same time maintaining revenue and income opportunities for those that have depended on it as a source of income prior to the ban.

Askopina will now be the sole authorize wholesale buyer and reseller to strict licensed vendors in a first of its kind arrangement to control the consumption, rubbish, and spittle long associated with its sale and consumption in the city.

With the service agreement, the company will construct a factory where the nuts bought from producers will be husked and sealed in airtight packages for sale through the cottage industry concept.

The arrangement follows the first two stages of the engagement of city rangers and setting up of roadblocks since being first initiated from 2009.

NCD Governor Powes Parkop stressed that it did not mean that the ban was lifted, and said that the arrangement was for the sake for producers who he said were hard hit by the ban and also the smuggling of the nut through the black-market was cheating them of proper sale revenue.

“The success, failures, or limitations of the strategy is clear, and I want to say that it is still a success despite the smuggling that continues,” Governor Parkop said.

“This arrangement will control the smuggling with growers given a fair price then what is being given to them to smuggle it in.”

“If it wasn’t for our people in Central and Gulf Provinces I would not venture into this agreement.”

“In terms of the spitting that is going on we have observed that vehicles are the main culprits and we now have an arrangement with MVIL and the Road Safety Council that will see fines being charged at roadblocks for those chewing in moving vehicles.”

Parkop revealed that the concept had the full backing of growers from both provinces affected with the endorsement of the NCDC board.

Managing Director of Askopina Limited Troy Tetley thanked Governor Parkop, the board, and management of NCDC for their confidence in his company to deliver.

“With your confidence we aim to achieve the goals of keeping the city clean, to use the nut to alleviate poverty through the cottage concept where betelnut can be sold amongst other goods, and finally to give opportunities for those in the informal sector to make that transition into the formal business sector,” Tetley said.

Tetley also extended an invitation to those NGOs, aid agencies, and interested groups to come on board to work with the company tailor the arrangement to benefit all.

“We will begin this arrangement on the first of August which will see a two month rollout period commence,” he said.

“License applications will be accepted for eligibility on October first with 500 licenses available initially for a total of 2,000 to be issued as the arrangement progresses.”

“The spinoff benefits of the arrangement will see 60 to 70 jobs created for the factory construction, and once in full production 180 individuals will be employed- not to mention the 16,000 beneficiaries from both Central and Gulf as a result of the arrangement.”

Mr Tetley added that is the meantime while the husking factory is constructed- the sale of betelnut will be packaged along with the skin for the first six months.

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