A Markham rice cooperative made up of over 100 farmers has sold locally grown rice to Trukai Industries.
Chingwam Rice Cooperative harvested six hectares of rice and has made around K15,000.
The Cooperative is now preparing 100 hectares for planting with the help of Trukai expertise.
“We aim to plant 100 hectares of rice, for the local market now,” says Chingwam Chairman, Michael Marang.
100 hectares means the farmers stand to harvest rice worth up to K190,000 for the local market.
Trukai has been in partnership with the group from the beginning, the rice company has been providing the expertise and the machines to produce the rice.
The small operations is mechanised, and Trukai has invested a substantial amount of money. Farmers from across the Markham Valley has shown interest, most of them don’t have the starting capital.
Rice Development Manager, Humphrey Saese who has been working closely with the farmers says, Trukai wants to involve farmers in rice production on their own land.
“That’s the type of model we (Trukai) want to promote,” says Saese.
The Rice farmers do not do it alone; everyday experts from Trukai rice go out to Markham, 150 km from Lae, to conduct extension work.
The result of the partnership and effort has given the people a glimpse of economic independence.
Trukai is also in partnership with farmers in West New Britain, Central and the Oro Province.