17 May TRUKAI INDUSTRIES HARVESTS LARGEST RAINFED RICE AT UMI
PNG’s largest rice distributor, Trukai Industries Ltd has reached another milestone in developing a domestic rice industry for Papua New Guinea.
The company is now working with the local farmers at Umi along the Markham Valley, to harvest rice grown on 275 hectares which is expected to produce well in excess of 1000 metric tons of paddy rice. Further expansion is planned for the following crop out to a planting area of 500 hectares in 2018.
Trukai Industries Ltd General Manager for Agriculture, Jarrod Pirie said this is a huge milestone for the company and it sets us apart as the only company that can now grow and produce local PNG rice of the same high quality and nutritional value.
“We are pleased to say that the rice will be 100 percent locally made when we mill and package it using our state of the art paddy mill in Lae. “The rice is expected to be out in the market later this year.
Mr Pirie said this is not the first time the company is harvesting from the Umi fields. “We have harvested 140 metric tons of locally grown rice in Umi in May 2017”. Mr Pirie also acknowledged the support and partnership of the Chingwam Rice Grower’s Cooperative of Rangiampum village in Umi where the rice was grown.
He said Trukai’s arrangement with the landowners is a unique win- win concept for both parties concerned. This arrangement provides the community with much needed cash flow and in return provides Trukai Industries with a local domestic rice supply.
As a business, we help them develop the land and provide technical assistance to grow the rice and when the rice is ready, we buy the rice back from the farmers. The company has also invested a lot of time and resources into training smallholder rice farmers on rice farming.
Chairman of the Chingwam Rice Growers Cooperative, Mr Michael Maran expressed gratitude to Trukai Industries Ltd for helping them develop their land and create income for the community
“I believe that Papua New Guineans are capable of producing their own food such as rice and I want our arrangement with Trukai Industries Ltd to be an example for others who wish to venture into similar arrangements.