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Subject: Wahgi Mek awaits K2 million

valley ngal
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Date Posted: 10:58:51 01/12/04 Mon

The national 12 jan 2004

Wahgi Mek awaits K2 million


WAHGI Mek Plantations in Western Highland province is still waiting for K2 million from the Government for its rehabilitation program.
Wahgi Mek managing director Dick Hagon said last week that the Wahgi Mek Plantations is economically depressed and needs the money to start the rehabilitation program.
“The plantation has been in a bad state and has not been producing for some years,” said Mr Hagon.
Mr Hagon was happy that the Government had realized that the company needs financing to revive the plantation.
National Planning and Monitoring Secretary Valentine Kambori confirmed that Cabinet had approved K2 million to fund the rehabilitation, but is currently being withheld until a feasibility study is carried out to determine the state of the property and stakeholder interests.
Last year, a team from the department carried out feasibility and scoping of the property, farm management and the interests of the stakeholders, including Mr Hagon who holds a 25% share in the property.
Mr Kambori said it was quite a “sensitive issue” and the department would carry out the study in proper consultation with the stakeholders.
“We have to take into account all interests of all the stakeholders,” he said.
“It is an exciting project and it will bring a good turnover to the economy of this country.” The Wahgi Mek Plantation use to contribute K20 million annually when coffee prices were consistent and employed over 3,500 people.
Mr Hagon said the company had a significant impact on the local people, contributing to the economy and it has also enabled them to engage in spin-off businesses.
Mr Hagon said Wahgi Mek had a good management headed by chairman Noel Smith, who was the former managing director for Bank South Pacific.
Mr Smith was the chairman on the board for almost 10 years.
He added that a reputable accounting firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers took care of its financial audits.

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