3 Responses

  1. Paul Barker
    Paul Barker April 30, 2011 at 2:59 pm


    The immediate constraints on agriculture are lack of reliable (or even any) road or transport access, low producer prices for many years (until recently) and various high costs, law and order problems (with crop theft etc), all combining to discourage farmer’s interests.

    It’s not all about largeholder production; smallholders have demonstrated that they can greatly increase production when they have the incentive, and of course tree crop exports formerly largely produced on estates have largely been replaced by smallholders for most crops. However, with good estate-smallholder support on an agro-nucleus basis, smallholders can circumvent some of the constraints of poor infrastructural and services provided by government. Some landowners working with agricultural companies have demonstrated that current land laws don’t need to be a constraint to genuine agricultural development, and the recent amendments (which have not yet been gazetted) empower landowners further to utilise portions of their land more commercially if they so choose.

    These SABLs, however, undermine genuine agricultural development and dis-empower the landowners. The genuine agricultural development entails thorough work by landowners and companies in identify the owners and securing free and fair consent with respect to agreed portions of their land; these SABLs commit whole community, even wards and sub-districts’ land, including villages, food gardens and tree corps (as well of course as sought-after forest land). It’s a recipe for community dissent; some have already complained that they wouldn’t want to grab their neighbours’ land (as in some approved SABLs) as it would great lasting antipathy. So this is a scheme which attracts short term extractive activities, not genuine agricultural investment or sound land management, whether by smallholders and/o with large investment partners with a longer term horizon.

    The genuine major agricultural investors (as well as landowners) are very concerned about this SABL free for all.

  2. Tim Curtin
    Tim Curtin April 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Interesting comparison of the alleged area of land “grabbed” (sic) in PNG with total area of Costa Rica:

    Despite its much smaller area and smaller population, Costa Rica’s total exports per capita 1.7 larger than PNG’s, and 14.34 times larger per square kilometre, and its coffee exports were larger in total than PNG’s from a fraction of PNG’s. The country’s have similar locations and topographies, both are in the tropics and are well suited to coffee.

    The main difference is that unlike PNG, Costa Rica is not imprisoned by an absurdly out of date land tenure system.

  3. yorba
    yorba April 2, 2011 at 12:53 am

    I am a citizen of this country and I really feel bad when our so call leaders in the Government are not really complying with the country’s constituation. The Constituation really talks about the security of the Indigenous people and their land be the rigthful property of the owner and what ever happens the benefits be shared fairly equal without leaving out any indigenous of the share. But as I see,even though the constituation is there right in front of them as a GUIDE to these leaders,they turned to be BLIND or we could say these leaders do not really understand what ROLE they should play while they are there in that DECISSION making HOUSE. These PUPPETS will be dealt with in our way as their are our people and they knew our way too well. This Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) are being proposed by Foreigners and are imposed on the Puppets in our Government who then without any awareness or consultations with Rightful Land/Resource owners which our Constituation Recognised, went ahead and start buldozzing the intention on the Peoples Land, as if it were their’s, what a shame that is if they come to their right mind. We are not blind and I believe the World is watching too. These Foreigners I refer to, we do know you and we want you out of our Land. We want you to know that we are not POOR as you are and struggling every inch to convince our people to buy into your idea. Look at you how many homeless you have that go without food. We ask you go back and help feed your people and comfort them if you are RICH enough. We eat every day we sleep in good shalter we don’t need your AID. We would kindly ask you to take whatever your AID are go home and start getting your back yard up to the STANDARD you require please.

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