Growing a solid career in agriculture

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MALUM NALU profiles Abner Yalu, one of Papua New Guinea’s most highly-skilled up-coming agriculture experts

ABNER Yalu from Bukawa, Morobe province, isone of Papua New Guinea’s most highlyskilled p-coming agriculture experts with a achelor of Science degree from University of PNG, ost-graduate certificate from University of echnology and Masters from University of Queensland. he 30-year-old is departing for his MPhil/PhD ith Queensland University of Technology (QUT) nd Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia, in July2010.
Mr Yalu is a biometrician (applied statistician) and lant breeder (quantitative genetics).
He is currently the leading biometrics consultant or all National Agriculture Research Systems
(NARS) such as National Agriculture Research nstitute, Fresh Produce Development Agency,
Coffee Industry Corporation, Cocoa Coconut nstitute, Oil Palm Research Association, etc) in
Papua New Guinea.
Mr Yalu has resigned from NARI with the aim of tarting his own consultancy firm.
He has run over 20 statistics and biometrics raining workshops and has trained over 100 rofessional PNG researchers in government and on-governmental organisations.
His understanding and expertise in adult learning, earning styles, skills and action learning has made
all his training workshops very enjoyable and ntellectually-rewarding for all who’ve attended.
Mr Yalu has produced a number of statistics raining materials including the ‘Mind Map’ of tatistical tests that is used in deciding which statistical ests to apply in different research contexts.
His present biometrics/statistics trainings target urveys and experimental designs, data analysis and
interpretations using statistical techniques such as inear models, mixed models, multivariate statistics,
non-parametric, and results reporting and also use of tatistical packages such as Genstat, R and SPSS.
Some of his consultancies in the past include Australian entre for International Agriculture Research
(ACIAR)-funded biometrics trainings for NARS nd World Vision in 2005-2006.
Mr Yalu also has international biometrics onsultancy experience with Queensland
Department of Primary Industries (QDPI&F) and utoring biometrics at the University of Queensland,
Brisbane, Australia.
He has plant breeding experience in both self and pen-pollinated crops such as taro (Colocasia
esculenta) and sweet potato (Ipomea batatas).
His professional experience in the release of fournew PNG-bred hybrid taros by NARI are detailed in
his book ‘Taro Improvement and Development in apua New Guinea’ which can be found on the
website: ttp://
He is well-versed with quantitative research nalytical techniques from mixed models to
multivariate statistics including MET and pattern nalysis and biplots and calculating breeding values,
combining abilities, heritability and etc.
Mr Yalu’s quantitative genetics knowledge also ncludes overseas research experience working on
bi-informatics projects using online genetics atabases to identify genetic sequences, breeding
wheat for rust resistance and analysing genotype by nvironment data of pine tree evaluated across
He was also trained in rice (Oryza sativa) research o production in the Philippines in 2009.
His experiences have exposed him to extreme hysical environments and conditions doing field
work in remote places over long periods.
He is well-experienced in carrying out rural urveys, appraisals and impact assessments. He has
taken part in surveys such as technology issemination of rice in East Sepik province and taro
in Morobe province.
Mr Yalu is a self-taught xpert in adult learning and earning skills such as emorisation, study,
thinking, learning, reading, riting and public speaking kills and setting and chieving goals.
He coaches high school and university students nd any interest persons on his free time on voluntary
basis as community service.
He was a mentor and coach at the Polyvision 007-Pacific Youths of Tomorrow at the Ipswich
Campus, Ipswich, University of Queensland, risbane, Australia.
His greatest passion is to help young people chieve their dreams in life the way he is living his at
the moment.
Mr Yalu was born on Sept 14, 1979, to a Lutheran astor father from Gobadik and a primary school
teacher mother from Lae.
He did his Grades One to Six from 1987-1992 at gelbeing Primary School in Western Highlands
province, Grades Seven to 10 from 1993-1996 at agen Park High School, Grade 11 at Fatima
secondary in Western Highlands in 1997 and Grade 2 at Malala secondary in Madang in 1998.
From 1999-2002, Mr Yalu was at UPNG studying or his Bachelor of Science Degree.
He was a NARI cadet scientist from 2003-2005, uring which time he completed his post-graduate
certificate in scientific communication/adult earning from Unitech, and from 2006-2008 did his
Masters in Agriculture Studies, specialising in iometrics and quantitative genetics.

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