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Read the Masurina Case Study

About the company

Masurina, in Milne Bay Province, was formed in the mid 1970s when there was little involvement in business and commercial activities by locals apart from the declining co-operative movement. The aim of the company was to allow all people in the province to become shareholders and to benefit from its activities. This objective was pursued by seeking to identify resources available and assist with the harvesting, processing and marketing of these resources. The company was successful in its aims and in the early 1990s there were over 500 individual, family and group shareholders whose shares had appreciated in value by several thousand percent.

Total grant funding approved: ECF A$183,166

About the project

With a grant of $183,166, Masurina will develop multipurpose Resource Centres at Kwato Island and Mwatebu in Milne Bay Province. The Resource Centres will be places that local communities can use for trade and other commercial activities. In the early stages this will include the sourcing, initial processing and sale of sustainably harvested timber from local landowners. ECF funding will also assist Masurina to expand into boat building by using the existing skills of workers on Kwato Island and to also expand its accommodation facilities on the island.

Results December 2012

  • Both resource centres in Kwato Island and Mwatebu have been established and are currently operating.
  • Improved access to sawn timber will benefit local businesses and households.
  • Masurina have eight full time staff working with the resource centre.
  • Milling of flitches has commenced with villages earning K60-240 (A$27-108) as project staff travel to areas to cut flitches from logs rather than using the resource centres as a base.
  • Using the timber from the resource centres, Masurina has rehabilitated a boat for use by community members for children to attend school across the river and for other community members to travel to hospitals or town to trade.
  • Masurina launched a copra purchasing venture through the resource centres, which complements ongoing timber sales.
  • After the success of boat building activities, Masurina has started to introduce sail making to its production capacities. It has distributed a number of sewing machines (donated by people in England) and purchased equipment to begin sail making. Masurina, will provide training to men and women in sail making and by doing so they are ‘breaking the mould in enabling women to embrace new activities’.
  • Results are slower than expected as timber cutting and other activities were put on hold at both sites during 2012 while land owners conducted negotiations in the two areas. The disputes stem from commencement of mining activities through New Guinea Gold (Normanby Mining).