Tuesday, October 09, 2018

There is hope of reviving Garaina tea

Commentary by SAMPSON BONAI

LIFE used to be good for many school children in remote Garaina, Bulolo,Morobe.

They attended school, wore good clothes and ate decent meals every day.

The children living with their parents, spend time with their peers,  playing, splashing in the river or hunting for birds in the surrounding bushland.

Life was was for them when their parents and many other local people earned a decent income working for Garaina Tea Plantation and Factory.

Garaina Tea Factory now standing idle and covered in tall kunai grass at Garaina station.~Pictures by SAMPSON BONAI

However,  all this came to an abrupt end, when the plantation and factory closed suddenly.

Their parents were told that their employment would cease with immediate effect.

The factory could no longer produce any more tea as there was no money to offset the overhead production costs.

Garaina Tea Plantation is now covered in thick bushes

The future of the innocent children and their parents turned bleak.

The local people returned back to their villages.

They resorted to subsistent farming to sustain their lives.

Children walked long distance to attend school everyday.

The forced closure of the tea factory  brought misery upon their lives.

Millions of kina been allocated by Morobe Provincial Government every year for  operations of the factory disappeared into thin air due to mismanagement over the years

Garaina Tea, which had gained international popularity as one of best organic teas, now stands idle.

What had happened is now history.

The tea plantation and factory needs to be revived with funding to get it off the ground and into production once again

A separate company has to be incorporated as a business arm of Morobe Provincial Government to manage operations of the tea plantation and factory.

The introduction of cocoa into the valley and the revival of Garaina tea will greatly boost the economy of Garaina.

It  can become and agriculture hub of Bulolo, Morobe and Papua New Guinea.

Add tourism and Garaina is onto a winner.

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