21 Oct 2013

Bougainville MP wants to scrap mining, focus on agriculture

6:50 am on 21 October 2013

The Papua New Guinea national MP for central Bougainville, Jimmy Miningtoro, wants the province to emulate New Zealand and put the focus on agriculture to develop its economy.

The provincial government, and many other groups in Bougainville, want to re-start mining, but Mr Miningtoro, who comes from the area where the controversial Panguna mine is located, says mining is not the answer to the province's economic woes.

He says the people do not want mining and the province lacks the capacity to deal with it.

Instead he wants a concentration on agriculture and says New Zealand is a country that has succeeded by following this route.

"I don't think in New Zealand that you have a very big mining industry. You have an agriculture industry. So if we develop proper agriculture systems, bring cash crops that can meet international needs then we can be able to sustain our economy. Now I don't see the future here for mining activity at this point in time."

Jimmy Miningtoro.