For the first time ever in PNG, locally grown rice has been milled and packaged and will be sold under Trukai’s Roots Rice brand.
13 tonnes of rice was grown by landowners in Morobe and West New Britain, and sold to Trukai.
It’s only a small fraction of the rice consumed in PNG but there are plans to expand production.
We visited Trukai’s factory today where the famous PNG roots rice is packed, and for the first time contains PNG’s homegrown rice.
The rice tipped into this mill, was the result of the harvest of a pilot project by Trukai last year.
It was grown by farmers in Markham in Morobe and in Kimbe, West New Britain Province.
Trukai General Manager for Agriculture, Jarrod Pirie, say there are plans to extend production even further.
It is a big achievement for the farmers who have been working hard in the fields to grow and sell rice locally.
But still, this is not enough to cater for the country’s population.
Trukai is now working closely with local producers such as Chingwam Cooperative in the Markham area, to support them in extending their farm.
Despite this initial success many hurdles remain for smallholder farmers to grow rice and make a profit.