Central to engage more locals in dairy project


Central government, as part owners of the Ilimo Dairy Farm at 14-Mile outside Port Moresby, has taken the lead to map and engage local farmers to participate in the project,
Provincial division of agriculture and livestock officers recently visited the farm for a general overview of the project and training on growing methods, protocols and requirements.
The people of Central, through the business arm of their provincial government, are part owners of the farm with operator Innovative Agro Industry PNG Ltd (IAI PNG Ltd) and the national government.  The administration has received over 150kg of maze seeds to distribute to the farmers.
Maze is a robust type of corn, commonly used in animal feed which can be grown throughout Central.
“We will be purchasing the maze seeds, cobs and stem to make stock feed and silage from the outgrowers,” IAI chairman Ilan Weiss said.
“Transitioning selected local farmers from subsistence farming to cash cropping is just one way that Ilimo dairy will benefit the lives of local farming communities.  People will be able to earn a cash income with a guaranteed market without having to leave their villages.”
IAI business development manager Gallit Tamir said participants at the training came from Rigo, Abau and Kairuku –Hiri districts.
“The team from the provincial administration included the food security officer and other provincial advisers, as well as two students and representatives of women’s groups,” he said.
“The administration has been fantastic in their support for the project. We are pleased that the provincial administration and the governor of Central, Robert Agorobe, have taken a serious interest in the work we are doing here. We have hosted Governor Agorobe already to inspect progress on the project.”
“Ilimo Dairy has received strong support from the local community, with many interested smallholders contacting IAI PNG Ltd directly.
“The dairy will have its own feed-processing facility onsite to turn the maze grown by local out growers into food for the dairy cows.”