Ramu NiCo Community Affairs supervisor at the Kurumbari Mine, Jacky Xu’ai issued the challenge recently.
He said Chinese love to have vegetables every time in their meals, therefore, local farmers must produce in abundance and sell to the catering company that is serving the mine and the refinery.
“Chinese people love greens and fruits every time in their meals so farmers must produce more and sell to the NCS-Raibus catering company that’s providing meals for the workers,” Xu’ai said.
Furthermore, Xu’ai said locals must also produce more spices such as ginger, chilly and pepper species to go sell to the catering company.
He said local landowners near the mine and refinery sites can earn an income to support their family when they grow vegetables to sell to the catering firm that provide meals to the mine workers. It a income earning opportunity for the locals instead of waiting for mine royalty and compensation payments which takes time.
“We encourage the locals to produce adequate supplies to sell to the NSC-Raibus. They started off well, then slowed down, and often in the end decided just to do their own things as that is probably most easy,” Xu’ui said.
He said a number of fresh vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and certain fruits cannot be grown at Kurumbukari or Basamuk so the NSC-Raibus purchase the vegetables from suppliers from the highlands region. However, there are other vegetables that local landowners in Madang can produce.
NCS-Raibus serves three meals a day for around 600 workers at Kurumbukari Mine and 800 at Basamuk Refinery and certainly needs to have constant fresh vegetable supplies.
NCS (National Catering Services), the Lihir Gold Mine landowner company owns 50 per cent in the joint venture and Ramu nickel project landowners own 50 per cent through their unifying umbrella company Raibus Limited.
Photo: Ramu NiCo community affairs supervisor, Jacky Xu’ui admires a red ripe chilly plant in a garden at Uria village in Usino LLG. Picture by James G. Kila