Farmers get rice mill


Representatives from Kote Fresh Produce Farmer Cooperative visited the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) in Lae recently to collect a micro mill for a rice project.
The mill was sourced through a European Union sponsored climate change resilience project that had ended in April.
Nari’s rice team and EU funded climate resilience (EUCCR) project leader Jeffrey Waki presented the mill to the representatives of the newly-established farmer cooperative.
Ebbie Zurenuoc, a farmer under the project, said their cooperative was a community-based group in Kote local level government area. It had mobilised its members to alleviate poverty through improving food production, nutrition and income generation opportunities.
Nari had worked along with Lutheran Developments Services to support the work of the cooperative to strengthen household food production capacity and natural resources management as Kote was vulnerable to extreme natural events like droughts.
Kote LLG and Finschhafen was known for cultivating rice but constrained by milling.
Hence, the communitiesrequested for a rice mill.
The EUCCR project responded by purchasing a micro mill costing around K3,000 in Lae.
The group was challenged to manage the machine well in order to expand its operation throughout Kote.
“A minimum operational fee must be charged for every kilo of paddy rice and prudently managed so that at least two more mills are procured,” Waki said.