Home > Uncategorized > O’Neill and Allan stitch up another huge land grab

O’Neill and Allan stitch up another huge land grab

February 22, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

Philippine’s President Duterte and his Agriculture Secretary want to plant 1 million hectares of rice in Papua New Guinea by 2023

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Agriculture Minister Benny Allan have promised the Philippines government at least one million hectares of land in Papua New Guinea for Filipino farmers to grow rice, according to media reports.

The 1 million hectares [10,000 square kilometres] will be leased to Filipino companies and thousands of Filipino farmers and agriculture graduates are expected to head to PNG, according to the country’s Agriculture Secretary, Emmanuel F. Piñol.  

The Philippines government says the 1 million hectares of rice is just its initial five-year target. That means by 2023, over 2% of the total area of PNG could be in Filipino hands.

Information on the rice growing deal first started to emerge after a meeting between Prime Minister O’Neill and President Duterte, at the APEC summit in Vietnam in November last year .

More details of the deal were agreed between Agriculture Minister Benny Allan and Piñol in Manilla earlier this month. 

Agriculture Minister Benny Allan and Agriculture Secretary,Emmanuel Pinol

The deal is expected to be finalised in Port Moresby early next month with a delegation led by the Philippines Agriculture Secretary set to travel on March 7.

Initially a team of 22 Filipino farmers will come to PNG to start the development of a 100-hectare demonstration farm within the Seventh Day Adventist College compound outside Port Moresby.  The Philippines government hopes that President Duterte will visit the demonstration farm when he attends the APEC Summit in November.

The whole land grab has been developed on the back of APEC and is a perpetuation of the false narrative that PNG’s customary land is idle and must be ‘freed up’ for foreigners to bring development.

The truth is, customary land already supports an economy worth as much as K40 billion a year, far bigger than the resource extraction industries the government obsesses over. Customary land also provides jobs for 3 million farmers and supports a rural population of 7 million. Customary land is set to  become even more important in the future, with PNG’s population set to grow to over 13 million by 2050.  

Meanwhile, opposition to the rice deal is beginning to emerge in the Philippines . Local farmers there say the plan is “an insult” to them and Filipino farmers were fully capable of producing all their countries rice needs locally. They say the plan is “very anti-farmer as well as against the poor”, sentiments that will resonate equally in Papua New Guinea.

  1. Wm Dunlop
    February 22, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Miracle Rice was developed in the Philippines by good old Australian /Agriculturists’ as a Australian aid programme in as I recall the mid 1970’s .Slainte

  2. Biga Lebasi
    February 22, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Instead of planting rice we plant the crooked oniel and his Filipino counterpart in the sea and deport all illegal Filipinos in png .

    There are more than 20,000 illegal Filipinos in png their ambassador to png told me four years ago at his office near the Holliday Inn in Port Moresby.
    Biga Lebasi
    North Wagawaga village near Alotau

  3. Jacob Taru
    February 22, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Good…details please.

  4. William Tondopan
    February 24, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    I would not be too jumpy about this. If PNG can do this properly, we stand to benefit from this project. Our Government and people have become lazy and disillusioned through the reliance in the non renewable sector. If land ownership can be arranged properly by the Government this project could stimulate the agricultural sector into action and become the turning point.Much has been talked about development of the renewable industries on the back of our mineral and oil revenues. This could just be what Png needs. A big shakeup and eye opener.

  1. March 7, 2018 at 9:42 am
  2. March 28, 2018 at 10:10 am

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