Agreement with Enga government boosts local farmers


To accomplish national and provincial objectives in the agriculture sector, the  Enga government and Innovative Agro Industry Ltd (IAI) entered into an agreement in February last year for the establishment of the Agro Industrial Centre (AIC) in Sirunki, Enga.
The project is operated under the registered company  Enga AIC Ltd.
The project required an investment of K23 million based on a detailed feasibility study conducted between 2014 and 2015.
A nucleus farm currently in operation was delivered in April by IAI on budget and ahead of schedule.
The project comprises two major components:

  • The Agro Industrial Services and Training Centre  which provides services and inputs to local farmers and primarily procures fresh vegetables from local out-growers and processes and markets the produce;
  • The 15ha Commercial Agro Industrial Centre which currently grows, processes and markets its own produce.

Chairman of IAI PNG Ilan Weiss announced that the company was buying produce from local smallholder farmers to market together with the AIC project produce farmed on site.
Weiss said earlier this month about 200 local farmers from the project impact area were invited to meet at Yaskom Resort Hotel by the provincial department of agriculture and livestock (DAL) officers and the company’s farm manager.
“The meetings’ main focus was on ensuring the quality and quantity of produce supplied by local out-grower farmers to the project,” Weiss said.
The Enga AIC project ensures that all participating farmers have a guaranteed market for their crops.  The farmers have grown potatoes, bulb onions, strawberries and carrots.
Weiss said:  “We have already started to receive, sort and purchase crops from some participating farmers. This has injected much- needed cash into the local community. Farmers no longer have to transport their goods to markets in Mount Hagen or further.
“Only through committed local participation can our projects grow and act as a catalyst for change, lifting ordinary smallholder farmers out of a subsistence lifestyle and into the cash economy.”
“Our partnership with the Enga Government on this particular project has made a positive impact on the local community in terms of their participation.”