By CHARLES MOI
SWEET potato can be manufactured into jam, noodles and even ice cream, a woman leader says.
Heisi Epy Novulu, 52, from Gulf, is the president of the Moresby South council of women.
She told The National that she learnt new ways of making products from sweet potato, bananas and coconut after she attended training programmes in Indonesia.
“I have been partnering with the Indonesian Embassy in PNG conducting training programmes for women (in Port Moresby),” Novulu said.
Novulu said she could make chips and jam from banana.
Novulu said her main interest was making virgin coconut oil since she had begun it before going to Indonesia for further training.
Novulu uses virgin coconut oil to make products such as soap, body lotion and candles.
Novulu became interested when the Indonesian embassy in Port Moresby began running classes for women.
Novulu attended a trade expo in Indonesia in October last year. The embassy later sponsored Novulu for a week-long training on coconut development product in May.
“I used to do my own coconut oil so I thought that this training might make me learn new skills,” Novulu said.
“We did go and see the project sites where they make coconut trees into timber. It was amazing because in Papua New Guinea, we have many coconut trees (which we can use) to build our houses and even make furniture out of it.”
The project site is in North Sulawesi in Indonesia.
Novulu attended the training with two other women from Port Moresby.
Novulu bought a shredding machine from Indonesia to help her make virgin oil from coconut.
She also has another machine to make potato chips and banana chips.
“Since I got the machines, I would like to teach the other women how to make virgin coconut oil,” she said.
Novulu is currently the president of the Moresby South council of women and has been volunteering her time for the organisation for more than 10 years.
“The NCDC council of women is enacted by Parliament,” Novulu said.
“We have the NCD council of women which is the mother body and we have the district council of women. So I come from the district council of women in Moresby south electorate.”
Novulu said the council advocated on gender-based violence and taught women to be self-reliant.
She said the NCD Council Women of Moresby South Electorate hadthree wards with more than 5000 members.
“We don’t get funding from government although we are enacted by an act of parliament. We do our little fundraisings just for the organisation.”
But Novulu said that National Capital District Commission supports the NCD Council of women by coordinating training programs through the NCDC gender desk.
Novulu is encouraging more women to take up training programs in Indonesia.
By CHARLES MOI