K128 million dairy farm development taking shape

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DEPUTY Prime Minister Charles Abel is impressed with the progress of the K128 million Illimo dairy farm outside Port Moresby which is expected to cut the volume of dairy products imported.
“It’s impressive. And it’s all part and parcel of the government’s drive to create investment, employment and create import replacement,” Abel said.
“Dairy and dairy products make up a part of any modern diet and our people seemed to be consuming a lot of dairy product, whether it’s milk or yogurt. It’s an important part of our food chain.
“So in line with the government’s thinking of import replacement, and smart, innovative methods and modern farming techniques which we can see today happening.
“I’m impressed.”
The farm is being developed by Innovative Agro Industry Ltd (IAI) and is located in the Kairiku-Hiri district of Central.
The equity partners are IAI with 50 per cent, government 20 per cent and the Central government 30 per cent.
Abel said 180 jobs had already been created at the farm.
“We know that you (IAI) are making use of an old farm land here that had not been put to any productive sort of use until today,” he said.
He was accompanied by Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Benny Allen and Trade Commerce and Industry Minister Wera Mori for a tour of the farm.
The farm will cost an estimated US$41 million (K128.22 million) when completed.
The country imports around 13 million litres of dairy products annually. At full capacity, the Illimo dairy farm will produce five million litres of dairy products annually, including fresh milk, flavored milk, yogurts, ice cream and snacks.

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