PNG cabinet approves agriculture State-owned entity

PNG Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments William Duma. Picture: POST COURIER

PORT MORESBY, 07 SEPTEMBER 2018 (POST COURIER) – The National Executive Council (NEC) has approved the establishment of a new state owned enterprise, Kumul Agriculture Limited, to hold all State agro interest investments throughout Papua New Guinea.

The cabinet has also approved the appointment of the Board of Directors for the newly established SOE.

The appointees on the KAL board will have a three-year term each. They are Leslie Hoffman chairman, Robert Bradshaw, deputy chairman, Fanston Yaninen director, Mark Worinu director, David Nipuega director, David Fore director and Arthur Jones managing director.

Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments, William Duma said that the newly endorsed Kumul Agriculture Limited (KAL) will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH).

NEC has also directed all relevant government departments and State agencies to cooperate with KCH in the facilitation and establishment process of KAL.

Duma said KCH will transfer all legal titles of agricultural assets, whether held directly or indirectly, to KAL.

“The agricultural assets that will be transferred to KAL include National Plantation Management Agency Limited, Sepik Agro Industries Limited and Central Dairy Limited. Both KCH and the Department of Agriculture and Livestock will transfer the shares and ownership interest in Livestock Development Corporation Limited together with its functions, management and assets,” Duma said.

The establishment of KAL is endorsed by the Government’s Alotau Accord II that emphasises diversification of the economy through increased investment in agriculture.

“Agriculture plays a vital part in the country’s livelihood, contributing nearly a third of GDP and is the largest employer. By consolidating the State’s agriculture investments and projects, land and resources; we hope to improve productivity and yield. We will open up an investment space for public private partnerships,” he said.

Duma congratulated the appointees, expressing his confidence in the team’s role in facilitating the establishment process of KAL.

“We are confident in the consolidation of all State owned agricultural assets as the move will be of greater benefit to our sovereign State. The board of directors will use their extensive knowledge and experience to drive this entity forward in achieving its purpose,” he said.