28 Aug 2004

PNG military gets go-ahead to transport cash crops

4:32 am on 28 August 2004

The military in Papua New Guinea has been authorised to move cash crops from rural areas to markets.

The Cabinet has approved the use of defence force aircraft to help transport coffee, cocoa and copra froms areas cut off by poor roads.

The defence minister Matthew Gubag has told the National newspaper that the authorities can now do something to stop tonnes of coffee from rotting away in rural areas.

Mr Gubag says defence force boats will be used to transport copra and other goods from remote islands to the market.

The government has also approved plans for the defence force's civic action branch to start a programme of upkeep for rural roads throughout PNG.

Senior ministers had deliberated on the measures during a conference in East New Britain.