Friday, March 23, 2012

Kandep Wheat Project K4.1 million to be probed again

The issue regarding the missing K4.1 Million for the Kandep wheat project has slowly resurfaced again. The current situation while observing from outside is that, the experts from China who were there before managing the project are no longer there. The once well know and pride of Kandep, "Kandep flour" band supply has ceased which evetually lead to the drop in cultivation of wheat by local farmers. The reason being that the factory has not been in operation due to a reason not known at this stage. The General understanding is that, if there was any funding at all made readily available, the operation could have continued. Refer related news publication by the meida as below being reported on the same matter at different times.
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Ipatas: K9mil for wheat, coffee missing
Source: The National, Thursday 22nd March 2012

ENGA Governor Peter Ipatas yesterday claimed in parliament that more than K9 million for agriculture projects in his province has gone missing.
Ipatas said a cheque for K4.1 million for the Kandep wheat project and another K5 million for coffee projects in Enga had been delivered to the respective districts with no developments taking place. The money, he said, had all gone missing.
He said the cheques had been delivered by the former Somare government when they attended the National Executive Council meeting in Enga in 2009.
But, Ipatas said, the two projects had been abandoned for the past three years with no report tabled.
He asked Agriculture and Livestock Minister Sir Puka Temu to explain what had happen.
Ipatas said he had raised the issue before but nothing had been done.
Sir Puka said he was unaware if a report had been filed and that he would consult his department and report to Ipatas.
He said he could instruct investigators to find out how the funds were used.
Sir Puka also indicated referring the matter to the Task Force Sweep team
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Kandep wheat project to be probed
Source: Post Courier, June 22, 2011

A K4.1 million given for a wheat project in Don Polye’s Kandep electorate which “evaporated somewhere” will be “thoroughly investigated” along
with other complaints on agriculture funds expended with little or no evidence of projects on the ground.
That was the commitment from Agriculture Minister Ano Pala in Parliament yesterday when responding to a question from Enga Governor Peter Ipatas
regarding the funding of the wheat project.
The K4.1 million was allocated to the district during the 2009 cabinet meeting in Wabag, despite protests from Mr Ipatas. He asked Mr Pala if he
could send his officers to Kandep to investigate the use of the funds as it was allocated under the agriculture sector program funds.
“Despite some protests from myself as Governor of Enga during the NEC meeting in Wabag, various sectoral cheques were handed to districts.
“Among those distributed, one was a K4.1 million cheque for a wheat project in Kandep,” Mr Ipatas said.
He said the wheat project was an initiative of the former Kandep MP Jimson Sauk, which was later taken over by the Provincial Government and the
Chinese Government through a bilateral aid arrangement.
But Mr Ipatas said he opposed the direct allocation of K4.1 million to the district at the time due to lack of capacity and proper planning.
“Now, this is 2011, that money that was given to the district seems to have evaporated somewhere,” the Governor said.
“Minister, because the cheque was released out of your agricultural sector fund, I wish to ask you to institute an investigating team to Kandep
and establish where the funds are and if there is a wheat program that is ongoing in Kandep in Enga Province,” he asked Mr Pala.
In response, Mr Pala said it was his first question since he was appointed as Minister for Agriculture which brought some laughter among MPs and
ministers … “this is an interesting questing because I am not aware of the subject matter that is being raised in this question”.
“But this is very important because it highlights expenditure of public funds which all constitutional authorities should be answerable for and
if this kind of funds is being spent and there is no evidence of its existence, then the public ought to know. This government is concerned
about it, everybody talks about corruption, abuse and failure of government systems to account for public funds.
“I think the problem exists all over the country, funds have been allocated, funds have been spent, and in many cases, there is no evidence or
little evidence of activities on the ground and I want to assure the Parliament and the public that this matter will be thoroughly investigated.
“This is an example of our commitment to ensure that where public funds have been spent and my ministry is made aware of it, we will
investigate.
“This is the first time I heard of this and I will refer it to my department to do a thorough investigation into the whereabouts of this fund
and to see if it has been spent and where the project is,” Mr Pala said.
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Revive Kandep wheat project
Source: yutok, Post Courier, May 27, 2011
KANDEP District, home of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Migration Minister, Don Polye, has bigger land mass equivalent to Markham that has the potential to be turned into massive and intensive agriculture areas. The Kandep wheat project, which was initiated some 15 years ago by Chinese government, has massive potential to address food security in PNG and has potential to produce extra and can be exported overseas.
If this wheat project is revived into its full, high and extensive scale, it can stop the importation of wheat and flour overseas and, wheat can be sold in very cheaper prices that are affordable to majority of our household. Currently, according to statistic report, PNG is spending more than K350 million for importing wheat flour alone. I think Kandep has the high potential to withheld the K350 million from leaving overseas and can bring in extra K350 million into PNG. However, up until now, the Kandep Wheat Project is sitting idle up there for more than 15 or so years. I would like to ask Mr Polye whether he has any contingency plan to revive the project. I don’t think you have forgotten or deliberately neglected to revive the precious Kandep Wheat Project but due to your ministerial and other district commitments, the wheat project’s priority is on the delay list. This will help mitigate in wider scale the soaring food prices hitting PNG nowadays and in future
Please, consider immediately to revive the wheat project before the Election 2012 comes in to disturb it.

Scotty Pindao,
Kandep District
.............................................................................Opening of Kandep Wheat Project
Thank you for the wheat project
Source: Viewpoint, Post Courier, December 13, 2000

I WANT to congratulate and thank Jimson Sauk, MP for Kandep, for initiating a wheat project and finally opening a new factory in Kandep.
You have proven to be yet another thoughtful leader who had created history in the development of Papua New Guinea after 25 years of Independence.
I congratulate and thank you on behalf of the people of Kandep and PNG for initiating the development of PNG’s first successful wheat project and opening of its factory. While the Department of Agriculture and Live-stock was still carrying out research on producing wheat in PNG, you have been able to successfully negotiate with the Chinese Embassy to start the project in 1997 and now, the advancement in the project is good. As a result, the factory was opened to process wheat for consumption.
In addition, the invitation of some of the most important national leaders and dignitaries to officiate at the opening is also commendable. Most important people such as the Governor General, Sir Silas Atopare, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister and Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Live-stock, representatives from the Chinese Embassy, other MPs and the media team was well co-ordinated.
My credit goes to those MPs and the delegation who officiated at the opening of the factory. This delegation of very important people signifies success, support and the importance of the project.
Furthermore, Kandep is a place where there is no cash crops and mineral resource development. The development of the wheat project and opening of the factory is very important to the Kandep people.
I believe many parents are very happy indeed because they will be able to generate some cash to pay their children’s school fees starting next year.
Member, you deserve heaps of praise and thank you for a job that is well done!
Self Satisfied
Kandep, Enga

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