By GYNNIE KERO
TWELVE young men and women from Enga left on Saturday for Israel to learn more about agriculture.
Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas said the 12 would gain agricultural skills and knowledge to help local communities at a project at Sirunki.
He said Enga provincial government and Innovative Agro Industry Ltd (IAI) started the construction of the Enga AIC Industrial Centre at Sirunki.
The primary goal of the project is to grow potatoes, onions, carrots, strawberries and other vegetables.
This project is focused at engaging smallholders with a nucleus agro industrial centre that will provide training and inputs (seeds, fertilisers and equipment) that will service the smallholders.
The industrial centre will also comprise a storage, packing and distribution centre.
Total investment in this project is K23 million and would comprise:
nThe agro industrial services and training centre – which will provide services and inputs to local farmers and primarily procure fresh; and vegetables from local out-growers to process and market the produce.
nA 15-hectare commercial agro industrial centre which will grow, process and market its own produce.
Sir Peter said the training component of the project would be focused on utilisation of innovative technologies and advanced farming practices.
“It is necessary to provide smallholder farmers and trainers with appropriate knowledge and technical know-how relating to their area of expertise in order to ensure long term sustainability of the project as a whole,” he said.
“The Sirunki project includes an agriculture training programme in Israel for 12 participants from Enga.
“They will gain agricultural skills and knowledge to return and work at the Sirunki AIC project as skilled employees and disseminate these skills throughout the community.”
By GYNNIE KERO