By LARRY ANDREW
SIX farmers from Western are in Lae attending training at the Trukai Industries Gabmatzung Rice and Peanut Research Centre in Wampar LLG area, Huon Gulf district.
The training started on Monday and will end today. The participants are Metrick Wai, Cosmos Masrok (North Fly), Terah Moiso, Morrison Olesai (Middle Fly) and Peter Konoma, Wadiya Kanumi (South Fly). South Fly coordinator Noel Steven also travelled to Lae with the group.
Rice development manager for Trukai Industries, Humphrey Saese told The National that the training was a joint programme with Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OKTDF) targeting farmers within the mining areas in the North, Middle and South Fly.
He said Trukai had been communicating with OKTDF for almost a year to help develop farms by talking to the coordinators.
“The foundation is very serious by putting in financial support not only to food security but taking it into a commercial level,” Saese said.
“And we are keen to support their farmers through this programme,” Saese said.
This training the farmers are getting includes an overview on types of technology, rice varieties and information to equip farmers grow rice.
“And once we follow up it will be more intense, more specific on equipment, how to grow rice, spacing, time of the year to grow rice and the management practices to put in place to ensue the right crop is produce.” he said. “The farmers that have come represent their communities and we have planned to set up the first six-hectare pilot projects – two hectares in each district – that should be established before the end of the year.”
Saese said they would trial out some new varieties of rice at the pilot projects to see which variety best suit the conditions in Western province. He said Trukai was committed to support OKTDF in delivering training and technologies, and teach people how to grow rice.
The farmers will grow rice for their own consumption but if they increase their yields, Trukai will purchase that at its market price.
By LARRY ANDREW