Bougainville ‘Green Gold’ Partnership

The Famous ‘Buka buai’ will now be traded at the newly established Kaugere Wholesale Betelnut market, in the nation’s capital.

A partnership between the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and the Moresby South electorate allows for a tonne of the autonomous region betelnut to be shipped fortnightly to Port Moresby, to be sold.

This was announced yesterday by the Regional member for Bougainville, Peter Tsiamalili Jnr and the Member for Moresby South, Justin Tkatchenko.

Tsiamalili said this partnership is the first of its kind and would benefit both parties involved. He also encouraged betelnut retailers to invest in the opportunity that would allow their small SMEs to further find their market.

“I know the prices we will be selling at will be at minimal prices which you can be able to make a big profit from still. So, it is a win-win for everyone. It is a win for the others of Bougainville, it Is a win for the mothers of Kaugere and the people of Moresby South.

“With Moresby South being the heart of the Moresby trade, it will also bring a lot more people here to invest in Moresby South,” Tsiamalili said.

He said each bag of betelnut will be sold at K500 each, but are going for K300 each as a special introductory price.

“Each bag contains 200 nuts and can fetch up to K1000 on the retail market. For the first shipment, have brought over 26 bags. The betelnut is being supplied from the west coast of Bougainville. That area does not have roads, and is only accessible by boat, so I have helped them with their transport and labour cost and they will be getting the profit.

“We hope we can continue to drive the strategy of empowering our everyday people from the most disadvantaged parts of Papua New Guinea. Moresby south is not only changing the lives of Moresby south residents, but you are also changing the lives of the most disadvantaged people on Bougainville,” he said.

The purchase of the betelnut would also be done exclusively online, through an application called eDidiman.

“The eDidiman app can be downloaded onto your android phone. This is an app that has been created by another young Bougainvillean that uses this app to gather SMEs and varous farmers who have registered under the edDidiman app. the application is in Tok Pisin as well, and it will tell you what you need to buy in Bougainville like taro and kaukau and other foods.

“We are going to use that app to wholsale buai, just so we keep track of all our costs. When you download it and pay wholesale price for the buai, you will only come to the market, show your reveipt that you’ve downloaded onto your phone, and collect your buai. So, there’s no cash movement here. You just have to show your receipt and pick up your bag,” he explained.

However Tsiamalili said the first two shipments will be purchased in cash and the ones following that would be through the app.

He also announced that tobacco will also be brought over with the betelnut to be sold at Kaugere Wholesale Market.

Tsiamalili explained that the move to send Bougainville betelnut to Port Moresby is not an effort to undercut the current wholesaler, but an effort to work together with them to meet the demand.

He said, “We are not here to saturate the market; we are not here to compete with the buai from Oro, Gulf, or the Sepik. We are just trying to compliment the market. We are shipping here once a fortnight so that we control and manage the market and it is there as a niche market of betelnut.”

Tkatchenko called for strict market security and management and said the product will be very popular for the benefit of Moresby South.

“It is a win-win situation. I Look forward to the new partnership under the new banner with Kaugere as a wholesale betelnut market now in operation,” said Tkatchenko.

Melissa Wokasup