The National, Thursday October 10th, 2013
DR Murom Banabas (pictured) is the first Papua New Guinean and Pacific Islander to receive the internationally prestigious Crawford Fund 2013 Derek Tribe Award.
The international award is made biennially to a citizen of a developing country in recognition of their distinguished contributions to the application and promotion of research in agriculture or natural resource management in one or more developing countries.
Banabas, a leading agricultural scientist and head of agronomy at the Papua New Guinea Oil Palm Research Association, received the award at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Canberra, Australia, on Oct 1 where he presented a seminar on his research in Papua New Guinea.
Being the first recipient in the region to receive the award Banabas said: “I see it as showing others we can be just as good as anyone in the region and the world and a good example for others to follow and do for PNG.
The award recognises his outstanding work over the past 22 years in improving the sustainability and productivity of oil palm in PNG through research and technical assistance.
Originally from a village in the remote Finisterre Ranges in Madang, Banabas knows rural farming like the back of his hand.
The Crawford Fund 2013 Derek Tribe Award recognises Banabas’ great interest, efforts and passion in working with villagers.
In particular, he developed a methodology for smallholder farmers to grow food crops in association with cash crops.