Papua New Guinea is a country where about 80 percent of the population relies solely on agriculture for their food and income.
Sago; a crop taken for granted is a staple food source among many others with more than 64 percent of people dependent on it.
Many sago producers have had to employ manual processing methods and bush material for processing the sago pit- making production slow and laborious.
However, a trial project located alongside the Purari River in the Gulf Province demonstrates what can be achieved when sago is produced at commercial standards using appropriate technology.
The trial project located in Pawaian village in the Gulf Province is managed by a Women’s Association with support from Koko Nene Henaru; a community representative company and the Papua LNG Project Operator, Total PNG who despite a slowdown in operations, remain committed to developing long term relationships with the communities within their project areas.
Highlighting the potential of what could possibly be a game-changer; of PNG’s first mechanized sago processing mill, Mineral Resource Development Company (or MRDC) Managing Director, Augustine Mano says this system will change how Papua New Guineans view sago, particularly in terms of the opportunity to develop SME’s across the country.
Mineral Resource Development Company (MRDC) Managing Director Augustine Mano says it is a Game Changer!
“This processing system will change how Papua New Guineans view sago, particularly in terms of the opportunity to develop SMEs across the country”.
What has also made sago production slow and laborious, Mano says the simple technology will be transformative if it can be replicated and applied in other villages across the country.
Mano says the simple technology will be transformative if it can be replicated and applied in other villages across the region and the country. “Imagine if we had these setups in every village and worked towards making it a product for export. Just imagine the empowerment of the SME, that’s where I see the potential!”
The sago mill, project being the venture that the exploration and production subsidiary in PNG, Total PNG is looking to partner with as part of their broader plan to support a diverse range of projects that allows communities to develop opportunities that exist outside of the oil and gas ventures.
Coming forth to provide assistance with resources, materials and logistical support to help get the pilot project up and running, TOTAL PNG also emphasized that the support will only be given with the corporation and involvement of the communities themselves.
Additionally giving its commitment to establishing a pathway to trade outside of the Gulf region.
Managing Director of the exploration and production subsidiary in PNG of the French Super Major Total, Jean-Marc Noiray, said the sago mill was exactly the kind of venture the company is looking to partner with as part of their broader plan to support a diverse range of projects that allow communities to develop opportunities that exist outside of the oil & gas ventures, with agricultural development sitting at the top of their list.