The penalty for breaking this directive includes K5,000 fine for individuals who are found guilty of transporting and selling buai, while K10,000 will be imposed on owners of vehicles who assist traders.
On Tuesday, April 14th, 19 provincial assembly members voted in favour of doing away with the nut. This includes three Parliamentarians; Kandep MP Alfred Manase, Kompiam-Ambum MP Sir John Thomas Pundari and Enga Governor, Sir Peter Ipatas.
Porgera-Lagaip MP Tomait Kapili, who attended the assembly session, was not available during voting while Wapenamanda MP Rimbink Pato and Wabag MP Lino Tom were absent with apologies.
Wabag Rural Local Level Government President, Roy Kipalan, and Wabag Town Mayor Kennedy Thomas Kiaka abstained from voting.
Governor Sir Peter said an amount of K1 million was allocated by the Enga Provincial Government as a “stimulus” package to encourage people to go into agriculture.
He said betelnut is a factor behind health and environmental issues, hence its removal would greatly benefit society.
Sir Peter believes the exchange of mustard (daka), lime (kambang) and buai will place chewers at risk of contracting COVID-19.
He said the EPG will continue to allocate funds to assist people who take agriculture seriously.
Sir Peter stated that people in the province should utilise the Agro Industrial Centre at Talum, near Surinki, which has a market for cash crops including potato, carrot and round onions at good prices.