With the cooperation of the Chingwam Rice Growers Cooperative, Trukai will be establishing a 500-hectare rice plantation near Rangiampum initially for a rain fed crop to be established in 2017.
This is in addition to the existing 80-hectare site already producing rice for the cooperative, under the management of Trukai’s rice development team.
This site will be progressively expanded possibly up to 1,500-2,000 hectares over a number of seasons, although this will be subject to relevant agreements and climatic and soil evaluations.
This exciting step forward in domestic rice production comes ahead of further developments Trukai management are hoping to discuss with government, following submissions for large scale irrigated rice growing in a number of areas across PNG.
Proposals have been submitted to the Departments of Agriculture and Livestock, and the Department of Trade, Commerce and Investment, although responses from government have yet to be forthcoming.
Trukai Industries Limited’s CEO, Greg Worthington-Eyre said in a statement, “Trukai stands ready to assist the government of PNG in its domestic rice development, and this project with the Chingwam Cooperative is a major step forward in laying the groundwork for other projects.
Whilst we wait for the government to respond to our proposals, we are simply getting on with it, and are very excited about building a strong local rice industry.”
Worthington-Eyre went on to add, “The establishment of the large scale site at Rangiampum will be supplemented with a further 100-hectare site closer to our Erap facility, where our rice seed generation plantation is being redeveloped.”
In April and May this year, Trukai will be installing a hulling mill in Lae to facilitate the processing of locally grown rice, and this represents a significant investment and commitment for Trukai.
The first rice to be processed at this mill will be the rice from the Chingwam Cooperative.
Worthington-Eyre concluded, “The rice growing at Rangiampum is expected to be harvested in April this year, and will be transported to Lae for milling and blending.
“Our rice, PNG’s favourite brand since 1970 (before federation) will contain rice grown in PNG.
“This is great news as not only will we be including locally grown rice in our products, food security gets a major boost as well and, more importantly, this puts money into the rural sector for use of land that would normally remain idle.”