In the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, a grass roots family makes a precarious living by trading in betelnut, one of the world's most widely used narcotics.

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Betelnut is one of the most widely used narcotics in the world. In the coastal areas of Papua New Guinea, where it is grown, it has been a socially acceptable stimulant since ancestral times, but in the central Highlands where the majority of the population live, it is a relatively recent arrival. Many Highlanders have come to depend on betel nut, not only because of their addiction to the drug, but also for their livelihood, trading small quantities of the nut up from the coast to sell in their local markets. For many families, the betel nut trade is the only source of cash income to pay for such basic necessities as food, school fees and medicine. This is the story of one such family in the Highlands - Lukas Kaima and his wife Kopu - as told by their friend and close neighbor, Chris Owen, an Australian expatriate. The Kaimas are settlers from the Eastern Highlands, without land of their own, living on a small plot on the outskirts of Goroka town by arrangement with traditional ... Written by Andrew Pike

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23 November 2005 (Japan)  »

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AUD 280,000 (estimated)
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