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Mine Village Poultry project to supply Tabubil, Bige and Kiunga

SIX Ok Tedi mine landowner villages will soon supply Tabubil, Bige and Kiunga with over 3.6 million eggs, and 26,000 broiler chickens each year through a project initiated by the Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF).

OTDF has engaged Israeli agro-business company, Innovative Agro Industries (IAI), to implement the project.
The six villages involved in the project are Atemkit, Finalbin, Bultem,  avorabip,Migalsimbip, and Wangbin.
A ground breaking ceremony for the project, known as the Mount Fubilan Agro-Industries poultry project, was held on May 24, 2017 at the OTDF Agriculture Centre in Tabubil, where the chicken sheds, feed mill and other associated facilities will be built.

The project will generate revenue for the mine villages from egg sales but also enables their food security needs with the sale of live chickens. Following 18 months of planning, the project has gained a keen interest from the mine villages, especially the women-folk.
OTDF Chief Executive Officer Ian Middleton, during a speech that touched the hearts and minds of the mine village communities, said: “This is an excellent agribusiness opportunity for the mine villages given their lack of arable land, it has a committed technical partner in IAI, and the Star
Mountain Women’s Association (SMWA) has contributed 20% of the funding, they must now be active participants. It has bound the mine village communities together for the first time.”
“Not only is this project a good social story, it is also a solid business proposition,” Mr Middleton said, adding that:
“The payback period is expected to be within four years and project returns are hoped to support future mine village education needs.”
The project will cost K7 million with funding coming from the Village Planning Committee’s (60%), SMWA (20%) and IAI (20%).
Apart from supplying Tabubil and surrounding areas, Kiunga and Bige
are also expected to be supplied with fresh eggs.
Already, the project has attracted another landowner company and Ok Tedi Mining Limited’s catering contractor, Fubilan Catering Services, as its first customer, committing to buy 6,000 eggs per day.
IAI Chairman and Executive Director, Ilan Weiss, said the company was committed to partnering with Papua New Guinean’s and to making the project a success.
Mr Weiss was pleased to add that growing the chicken feed (maize) on the Bige reclaim site was an exciting opportunity that further benefits community income earning opportunities.
OTDF Associate Director representing the North Fly and mine villages, Maino Lucas, encouraged his people to make use of opportunities the project will generate.
“We mine villages have enjoyed the last 30 years of receiving direct benefits from OTML, yet have little to show for what has been received (and) now we must reset ourselves and get ready to really benefit from these sorts of opportunities. We must become the change that is needed in these communities.
The important element to sustain us is education, and we can realise that through agro-industries.
This project will maximize benefits for our community and provide employment, training, dividend payments, and project delivery as well. It will also be touched and seen by the grassroots in the communities,” Mr Lucas said.
Mine Village Women’s Representative, Alice Mumuyong said it was good that women had a share in the agro business project.
“The women and children in the community are happy that this project will benefit them. I would like to encourage women to take ownership of that project and they must really change their mindset of having cash on hand and make it a reality back in the community,” Ms Mumuyong said.
Also present to witness the ground-breaking was OTML CEO and Managing Director, Peter Graham, OTML Deputy CEO and OTDF Board Chairman, Musje Werror, OTDF Associate Directors Richard
Zumoi and Aniba Samo, and mine village leaders John Wanim, Biul Kirokim, Joel Dangkim, Borok Pitalok, and Joshua David along with VPC Chairmen and women leaders.
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