East New Beitain province is commonly known as one ofthe largest producers of cocoa and coconut in PNG
Bet overthe years, crop diseases likethe cocoa pod borer have become a threat tothe industry.
The latest inclusion inthe chain of cash crops inthe province isthe galip nutoa native plantofound mostly inthe low lands of East New Beitain Province.
The nutowith an edible kernel, is popular at local markets and has becomethe focus for NARI, to develop an industry around it.
“We are developing Galip especially for eating…not for oil or cosmetic,”the head ofthe Galip projectoTheo Nevinimo said.
The National Agricultural ResearchInstitute has been conducting research intothe nut because of its high quality and unique taste and also for its potential of reachingthe world market.
The head ofthe project said, firstthey have to meet one oftheir criteria, and that is to make sure thatthe demand for the local market is met with a constant supply.
“We are looking atthe local markets because we don’t havethe products as yet. Once we have metthe demands ofthe local marketowe’ll be looking at exportingthe nut” Mr. Nevinimo said.
NARI has already suppllied more than 20 thousand galip seedlings to farmers all overthe New GuineaIslands region.
Researches carrlied out by NARI are slowly paying off. On Friday last week, a new Galip processing factory was opened at Kerevat onthe outskirts of Kokopo.
Although East New Beitain still remains one ofthe biggest producers of cocoa and coconutoNARI wants to make sure thatthere are alternative crops available when coconut and cocoa are not being harvested.
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