K150,000 windfall as potatoes hit Moresby


Farmers from Enga have earned K150,000 for their potatoes which can be found in a supermarket in Port Moresby – thanks to the provincial government.
The Enga government and an Israeli company launched the multi-million kina Innovative Agro-Industry project in May last year in partnership with Enga’s allocation of K11 million.
The project included an agriculture training centre and storage facilities.
The land at Sirunki (project location) is ideal for growing cabbages, carrots, peas, strawberries and other vegetables that suits cooler climes rather than tropical conditions.
Under the project arrangement, farmers were also taught the basics on how to cultivate the land well to grow vegetables.
Enga administrator Sandis Tsaka said they bought the produce from farmers and were selling it to Port Moresby, and eventually overseas markets in future.
He encouraged people to buy local produce which would replace imports in the long-term.
Showing off the potatoes under the brand ‘Sirunki’, Tsaka said: “For the first time, we (project) have purchased 40 tonnes of produce from the farmers.
“The potatoes from Enga hit the supermarket (Port Moresby) in the last two weeks.
“Farmers have already received K150,000 for the first 40 tonnes.
“We (project) are buying these potatoes from farmers, between K2 and K2.50 per kilo.
“We are proud of this ongoing partnership, our farmers are also encouraged that we are buying from them every day they bring their produce.
“Our farmers are getting into (growing) onions, strawberries, carrots and cabbages.”