Landowners ink agreement to increase production


THE Luhu Incorporated Land Group (ILG) at Poahom outside Lae signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) extending the previous one signed two years ago to increase production of rice at Poahom.
The first trial project at the area showed good results with 15 hectares of rice planted and 38 tonnes of rice harvested.
The rice will be on shelves as Hamamas Rice.
The Poahom project is the second commercial rice project in the country apart from the Umi project in Markham where Trukai Industries Ltd helps local farmers with technical and other assistance and then buys the rice from the farmers.
Trukai chief executive officer Greg Worthington-Eyre said the ILG would be paid a fair price and local growers would also be trained to manage the project.
“It’s an amazing partnership,” he said.
“The rainfall here is sensational and we plan to be here for the long run and develop this crop.
“We’ve got a very successful pilot project with good results and we expect great things to come from this project.
“Trukai will be turning 50 years next Monday and this is like a birthday present for us.”
Worthington-Eyre said the MoU would take them (Luhu ILG and Trukai) forward to greater investment and more land use.
“Good things take time,” he said.
“It took us time and we have achieved some good results.
“We’ll help you grow the rice and we’ll buy it from you at a fair price.”
Luhu ILG chairman Matthew Poang said despite challenges over the last three years, their perseverance had paid off.
“Many landowners have sold their land already but we held on and now we see something positive happening on our land,” he said.
Trukai commercial cropping manager Nichodemus Bokame said the MoU was transparent.