Samap village in PNG's East Sepik province is like many other places in the country - isolated and without road access. But despite their isolation, a transformation driven by a small group of businessmen is putting Samap's community on a path to becoming self-made millionaires. The people have taken control of their land and are becoming leaders in the Buai (betelnut, areca) trade. They're making almost a million kina every year by trading with buai buyers from Papua New Guinea's highlands.
By Phil Fitzpatrick*
One of the most important policy documents to come out of the Haus Tambaran in years is Community Development Minister Carol Kidu’s policy on the informal economy (see pdf attachment below).
Just what is the informal economy and who runs it?
Among others, it’s the people who sell buai and mustard on the streets of Port Moresby. It’s also the people who run stalls out on the Magi Highway selling the day’s surplus catch of fish along with vegetables and fruit.