Morobe man takes big bite into apple farming

Menyamya villager Eric John
Menyamya villager Eric John

Menyamya villager Eric John has registered an apple business and plans to develop an orchard on his land in Morobe.
John said he has seedlings in his nursery and has trees growing on his land.

His first seedlings came from an apple he bought in Lae in 2004 and he has since invested time and money on growing apples commercially.

“I have tried to seek assistance from local leaders but have received none since I started 10 years ago,” he said.
“I sell pigs to raise funds for pesticides and equipment for my nursery.
“I believe that we can grow apples like we grow coffee here in Papua New Guinea.”

John said he registered his business as HKVE Apple Farmers at the Investment Promotion Authority office in Lae on Monday.

HKVE stands for Hakwange, his village.

He has about 100 people from the village involved in the business.

“I give 10 to 20 young trees from my nursery to each member. We have agreed that half of the total trees that bear fruit belong to me and the others they keep,” he said.

Finding the money for pesticides was the major challenge, he said.

Pests have destroyed the apples and killed some trees.

The National Agriculture Research Institute has promised to help him with equipment for the nursery.

John has 10 mature trees from which he picks fruits to sell at the market in Menyamya and Lae.
He said he has two hectares of land ready for planting.


Western Highlands loses man of peace and businessman
Western Highlands loses man of peace and businessman

WESTERN Highlands chief and Komkui business group chairman Andrew Dokta, who died this month, was laid to rest at his village of Tiling, in Mt Hagen, on Wednesday.

Dokta, the chief leader of the Moge tribe, died on Dec 8 after a short illness.

He comes from the Moge Komnuka clan in Mt Hagen.

Dokta was the front man in the construction of the Komkui six-storey building and the AGC Haus in

Mt Hagen through the company Komkui business group.

Through his hard work he formed the company with the help of educated elites like the late Barnabus Paraka and other leaders from the Komkui clans.

Apart from that, Dokta committed his life to supporting the work of the Catholic Church.
He also committed his life to maintain peace and order for the Moge tribe and the province as a whole.

During the funeral service at Tiling village, Western Highlands, peace and good order chairman Thomas Wama described Dokta as a man of wisdom and a peacemaker who acknowledged God in everything he did.

“Such people are real peace makers who have committed their lives for the good of the people and the province,” he said.
He said losing such a great leader was a big loss to the people and the province.