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aussie
21-11-2003, 01:21 AM
Ramu Sugar, which recently announced that it is on track to make a K14.7 million profit this year, operates a first world class cane estate and sugar milling operation that the whole of Papua New Guinea can be proud of.

Some 20 years ago, the part of the country in which Ramu Sugar is located, was located as one of the least – developed in PNG.

Today, a sugar factory whose replacement cost would be K150m, is the pride of the Ramu Valley.

What was once a rural backwater is now a thriving community.

Ramu township is home to 10,000 people.

It has two supermarkets (PNG – owned), three small shops (PNG – owned), three take – away food outlets (PNG owned), a post office, a district court and a village court.

There is a flourishing fresh fruit and vegetable market at Ramu with produce supplied from as far away as Kainantu.

Ramu Sugar’s workforce spends around K1.5m on this produce annually.

Employees enjoy free medical services, water, electricity, garbage disposal and general maintenance.

Children of management staff attend a company – owned primary school while there is another primary school managed by government on the estate.

Ramu is a major source of income for the local economy, with permanent employees numbering 700 and temporary/seasonal workers reaching 1000 at times of the year.

Payments to direct employees, outgrowers and subcontractors amounts to K18m annually.

Over K10m is paid to businesses in Lae each year.

Some 150 independent cane farmers – or outgrowers – supply Ramu with about 120, 000 tonnes of cane, around 25 per cent of the total.

These farmers receive over K1m net each year.

Harvestors at work at Ramu Sugar:

aussie
21-11-2003, 01:23 AM
Ramu Sugar estimates that there are some 12, 000 to 15, 000 people in Madang and Morobe provinces that are directly dependent on Ramu for their livelihood.

The government decided in 1979, following the completion of a feasibility study, to establish a sugar industry to meet PNG’s sugar needs with the objectives of:

Saving foreign exchange and achieving food self – suffiency through import replacement;
Generating employment, providing infrastructure and services and generally bringing development to an undeveloped and underpopulated area;
Creating a focus for participative, entrepreneurial agriculture – based business activity;
Training Papua New Guineans in skills highly relevant to nation – building; and
Generating tax revenue for government and a source of income for other businesses upstream and downstream.

Sugar operations started in 1982 with the production of 10, 000 tonnes.

Output increased rapidly until 1986 when Ramu cane was ravaged by a disease hitherto unknown to science, which became known as “Ramu Stunt”.

This nearly put the company out of business but through loan rescheduling and hard work on the ground, it recovered.

More pests and drought in 1993 and 1997/98 afflicted Ramu Sugar but each time, it recovered, and today its cane crop is in very good shape.

Over the years, the company has developed a fine agronomic research capability led and staffed by PNG scientists – now highly regarded in the world.

In light of all these Ramu Sugar chairman Peter Colton – a champion of agriculture and rural development - has urged the government not to turn its back on large-scale agricultural development, particularly those that develop both farming and industrial skills.

Mr Colton made the call as the company announced that it is on line to make a sweet profit of K14.7 million this year, its 25th of operation.

“Papua New Guinea should be careful not to turn its back on large scale agricultural development, particularly those which develop both farming and industrial skills,” he said.

“Otherwise, its people could be condemned to being ‘ hewers of wood and drawers of water’, to use a phrase, for the rest of the world.

“In other words, what happens to the people of the local area, the employees and the infrastructure when the mines and oil wells run out?”

News of the profit was well taken by investors and visitors on the day including Nasfund, PEA Superfund, PNG Teachers Savings & Loans Society, Mineral Resources Development Corporation, Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited and Kina Securities.

Mr Colton, at a briefing for investors and visitors, said that in recent years so – called “development” has tended to concentrate on non – renewable resource exploitation such as minerals and petroleum.

“The way timber stands are being exploited in many parts of the country effectively puts them in the non – renewable category too,” he said.

“While they have their place, these activities have finite lives.

“In contrast, Ramu Sugar is here for the long haul.

“Each year, we regenerate cane and convert it into sugar in a largely environmentally – friendly process.

“In other words, we are totally unlike mines and oil exploration businesses in that we are not exhausting the nation’s natural resources.

“Ramu Sugar will be here 100 years from now.

“How many of the existing mining, petroleum operations can say this?”

Ramu Sugar is an integrated agri – industrial project that apart from sugar produces molasses, potable grade alcohol and ethanol, has beef cattle operations, an abattoir, and is involved in meat boning and packaging and manufacture of blood and bone meal, which is used as a feed supplement in the pig industry.

The company is capable of producing 50,000 – plus tonnes of sugar from 500,000 – plus tonnes of cane grown on 800 hectares.

It supplies the entire domestic market with sugar and exports over 8000 tonnes each year to the USA and Pacific islands.

It exports 2.5 million litres of potable alcohol and also supplies the domestic market – replacing the import of around 500,000 litres a year.

Mr Colton made no secret that Ramu Sugar was investigating the possibility of venturing into oil palm, involving local outgrower as well as estate production.

“The cost of such development will be much easier and its management easier because of the existence of Ramu Sugar,” he said.

“We are also investigating the possibility of diversifying into peanuts.”

Mr Colton said that 20 years ago, the part of the country in which Ramu Sugar is located was regarded as one of the least – developed in PNG.

“Today, we have a sugar factory whose replacement cost would be K150 million,” he said.

“With foresight and good management planning, imagine how far we can travel in the next 100 years.”

Ends//

Range of Ramu Products

*Bee*
21-11-2003, 01:59 PM
thanks aussie

Talitha
26-05-2004, 04:56 PM
It also has a great 9 hole golf course; the 5th Hole is very interesting! :)

muppie
27-05-2004, 09:29 AM
Talitha.. do tell us what's with the 5th hole?

rak
21-07-2004, 08:12 AM
the returning hole on that golf course is equally as interesting (:D)