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NO MORE LAREVA MARKET

Staff Reporter 1/07/2014 | | |
The one week grace period given for vendors in the nation's capital, to sell off their remaining betel-nuts, ends today.

Yesterday, Port Moresby's main betel-nut outlet, Lareva market at Hohola suburb, saw vendors tearing down make-shift shelters and destroying stalls, before burning them, as police kept watch.

NCD Governor Powes Parkop had issued the window period on January 1st this year, as part of the total buai ban in the City. 

There's been growing public backlash to his decision, mainly from vendors, however, Mr. Parkop says he will not be swayed. 

He says the move is good for the capital city's image in making Port Moresby a more healthier, safer and conducive place to live and work in. 

Vendors lately have been selling the favourite nut for ridiculous prices - many fetching K4 to K5. Some sliced in half and sold for 1-Kina to K1.50 each. 

Mr. Parkop says residents wanting a chew will have to travel out of the City to Laloki, where a permanent market will be setup. 

The NCDC is working closely with police and customs at both sea and air ports to ensure the nuts are not smuggled in from outside centres

Meantime, a betel-nut grower from Veifa'a in Bereina District of Central province, says the ban is affecting his income and contradicts people's basic rights to freedom of trade and choice.

Peter Kavo claims, his earnings of about two to five-thousand Kina per month from betel-nut sales is now reduced, following the ban.

Kavo says, with the school year about to begin, he now has nothing to support his family.

He says, if N-C-D-C wants to keep Port Moresby clean, it should increase funding for garbage and waste management, instead of using the betel-nut ban for such.

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