Rice farmers planning commercial production

Business

By JUNIOR UKAHA
RICE farmers in the Waria Valley of Morobe are planning to go into commercial rice production with partners.
Soda Ihania, representing 3000 rice farmers in the valley, said they wanted to sell their rice and earn income.
He said they had been growing rice since the colonial days when it was introduced by European planters and missionaries.
“We have been growing rice for local consumption before independence,” Ihania said.
“We now want to form a cooperative group and sell our rice to big companies who are interested.”
He said they were trained by Europeans to plant rice.
Ihania said the people continued to grow rice.
He said the recently-introduced rice types in the valley were NR15, NR1 and TCS10 varieties supplied by National Agriculture Research Institute.
“There is potential to do commercial rice production in the Waria Valley. The Government has stated that the country spends K600 million on importing rice alone,” Ihania said.

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