by Shane Saroya – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Amadi-Baga rice pilot project, as of last Wednesday, has advanced from a pilot project to a commercial farm, with the local incorporated land group (Amadi-Baga ILG) giving 20 hectares of their land to Trukai Industries to further develop it as a rice farm.
This follows eight months of hard work in piloting the rice project, from land preparation, right up to harvesting in July this year.
The pilot project involved a 4ha crop sown with the NARI-1 rice variety, as the main crop, and evaluation of 12 new Trukai rice varieties.
The main crop produced a record yield of 19 tons with varieties sowing promising yield potential.
Some of these varieties matured as early as 90 days with very good yield rates of over 5 tons per hectare.
Under rain-fed conditions, this is considered an extremely good yield record, and further work will consider the assessment of medium grain rice varieties that have, generally, higher market value for farmers’ crop.
Trukai CEO Greg Worthington-Eyre, describes Amadi-Baga as having produced the best yield in any pilot project so far in PNG, also producing the best rice quality Trukai has seen.
The Amadi rice is a great product which doubles what is being produced in South East Asia.
A cheque of K10,400 was presented to the Amadi-Baga ILG, on Wednesday
Mr Worthington-Eyre visited farmer, Eileen Iambul, and her family at Amadi to see first-hand the outcome of the Amadi-Baga rice pilot project and make Trukai’s first payment.
Mr.Worthington-Eyre said, Amadi-Baga can now be registered as the first rice growers and will be contracted to grow larger areas, which will be formalized with a grower contract agreement.
The 19 tonnes harvested will be shipped to Lae for production.
The payment of K10,400 was calculated according to current globally trading price for long grain rice.
Mr Worthington-Eyre also announced on the day that the harvested produce would be blended into the Roots Rice brand, making it the first ever crop produced by a PNG grower to get into the Trukai packaging.