Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, Papua New Guinea > Rice monopoly a dangerous move

Rice monopoly a dangerous move

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Peter Sharp, Rabaul

THE Americans would like us to believe the Arab Spring came about because the people wanted democracy. That is untrue. The people wanted food at a reasonable price and the Americans and other wanted their oil. It all came together.The criminal invasion of Iraq was as everyone sees now, for oil.

A president whose family business is oil and his vice president whose company services oil fields. The slaughter of people in Tripoli by American and Nato planes and the murder of Gadhafi was also for oil. There is no intervention in Syria because Syria has no oil of any significance and what they have is consigned to the Russians and Chinese and the Americans are not game enough to take on either of them.

In fact the Americans couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag as he has been amply demonstrated in Vietnam and Somalia and now in Iraq and Afghanistan. Can’t fight but they make movies like Good Morning America, Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse, Black Hawk Down all to justify why they got their backside kicked by people they despise. What are the new movies to explain Iraq and Afghanistan?

Can’t fight but can assassinate. But this is beside the point. Put up the price of rice and there will be rioting in PNG.

The French Revolution was about Equality and Democracy and Fraternity but it was triggered by a lack of food. When Queen Marie Antoinette was supposedly told that the peasants were revolting because they could not afford bread (which is our equivalent to rice) she is supposedly, incorrectly to have replied … “then give them cake”… and peasants (workers) took her out and cut off her head.

If your people are starving they will cause problems. There were no fat Egyptians or Libyans on the TV screens.

The government cannot go down the path of previous governments in allowing outsiders to take control of food like was done so corruptly with Ramu Sugar and the planned Indonesian takeover of the cocoa industry. Is it surprising that the proposed monopoly of the rice industry is also Indonesian inspired? While we do not eat cocoa directly the proposed Indonesian takeover of the cocoa industry would have had long term disastrous effect.

The sale out of our oil industry is another tale of corruption and woe but nothing affects everyone as much as unaffordable rice.

Yes, we should all be eating kaukau and taro and yams because they provide approximately 100% more energy per hectare than does rice but we are used to rice and we don’t really grow rice here so it’s not really a factor yet.

Yams are full of oestrogen and therefore good for the ladies and perhaps accounts for the peculiar behaviour of those males in areas where the consumption of yams is high. Taro provides testosterone and again may account for the belligerent attitude of the males in areas where it consumed and hirsute ladies in that area.

But even though it perhaps shouldn’t be, we all like our rice it is so easy to prepare and cook and it gives us energy without complications.

No government can allow anyone from anywhere to have a monopoly over food otherwise there will be riots.

There is enough rice on the foreign markets to make sure no one in PNG goes hungry as long as the price is low.

We consume about 200,000 tons of rice every year. World rice costs in 2004 were about K1.25 per kilo and you can ask why we pay K4 in shops and the would-be monopolies are saying prices will increase to more than K11 per kilo. In fact rice prices fell 3 % in 2011.

  1. Plesman
    January 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Lets grow rice,

    People in mountains of Finschaffen ( Kote and Mape Areas) have been growing rice and eating it since after the 2nd world war,They have developed native methods to grow rice, which are a bit different to the wetland rice paddy methods by Asians.

    Why hasn’t Nari looked into this fact and transfer this skilled to other parts of PNG ,This will atleast help our rice situation

    • JUDY
      January 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Plesman,may be that’s the way to go for rest of PNG -The Bereina/Mekeo and the Gulf areas should be the able to grow rice;they used to grow rice in the early to mid 1960 or early 1970s.Maybe if the government gave incentives for villages to grow their rice maybe PNGeans might go for it.Our people do not take to anything new with relish and that is sad because its not taro,yam or kaukau or even sago is our staple anymore,we all love rice and rice is here to stay.Furthermore Government must provide Agricultural Extension Officer s;from the Dept of Agriculture and Lifestock and fisheries, they used to have in these days.Those AEOs jobs was to help educate and be there for the villager,helping him with any problems he may encounter.I wonder if we still have these people around.
      We simply cannot relay on tany Politican any more,he will sell us to the asians just for few misereable thousand Kina;has they have already down.

  2. January 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    ”Yams are full of oestrogen and therefore good for the ladies and perhaps accounts for the peculiar behaviour of those males in areas where the consumption of yams is high. Taro provides testosterone and again may account for the belligerent attitude of the males in areas where it consumed and hirsute ladies in that area.” That is most interesting to know. I live in Central Queensland & like to grow my ‘yams’ but the sandy soil is unyielding when rainfall is low. Australia is going through a mad stage of ‘cash now, who cares about farming’ in the great surge of coal gas drilling. Keep doing what you believe is right for your country, & buy the rice when price is right when the quantities of local produce is running low. Don’t put up with smooth talking traders, they take your lively hood away & then up the prices when you can no longer provide your own product. We have had this problem with grocery chains.

  3. January 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    There will truly by untold hardships if rice were to become unaffordable as it’s already happening in our country. I know most of our public servants spend more on rice then any other food as it’s our livelihood. We can’t afford decent housing and costs of fuel are already very high as well as taxes. Rice,tinned fish,tinned meat,flour,bread are our staples particularly in the cities and the government must ensure prices are low.. You can’t have a sick and hungry workforce..

  4. Hadji
    January 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    It is still impossible to believe that PNG after 36 years of independence is still unable to produce its own rice and PNG still continues to import it from overseas. Millions of Kina are spent on importing rice, wheat and beef every year. Since independence the previous and present governments have never had the mettle to develope the agriculture (rice, wheat, beef) indusrty. Is it the weather or is it just Trukai…

  1. May 22, 2012 at 10:39 pm

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