The National, Monday June 24th, 2013
By ELIAS LARI
THE Chinese Up Land Rice Farming project at Ati Agricultural College in Western Highlands has been praised for progressing well since 2009.
The Chinese ambassador to PNG Qui Bohua, his wife Luo Cahohong and a delegate from his office paid a visit on Queens Birthday and were surprised to see that rice was growing well in quantity and quality.
“I’m very impressed that this project is doing well here in the highlands as Mt Hagen has the best climate for farming.
“The government of the Republic of China is playing a leading role in the country in terms of schooling, health, road and infrastructure development,” Qui said.
Qui was officially welcomed by the college principal Philip B Senat and farm manager Gibson Simon.
He said China had a good relationship with PNG and the rice project was one that could help people make an income and look after themselves.
“This is a personal visit as I want to see what the team of rice experts are doing here,” he said.
Senat said they were aiming at harvesting six tonnes of rice per hectare and that will be much bigger than the previous harvest.
He said the rice farm was divided into China 1 and China 2 and the college had the vision to extend the farm and introduce skills to interested farmers.
“This project between the governments of the two countries, China and PNG, is gaining momentum and I’m pleased with it.
“This is new and I believe more people will be benefiting,” Senat said.
Senat thanked Qui and wife Luo for the visit.
Farm manager Gibson Simon said so far many locals were interested in planting rice.
Gibson said they had helped farmers to mill about 200kg and that was good news.
“The College is capable of supplying seed, train farmers and will help to mill their rice.
Qui also visited other major Chinese-owned companies in the province before departing for Port Moresby in the afternoon.