Posted on October 24, 2018
Communities in Morobe Province were among the first recipients of 70 solar-powered rice mills funded under the Papua New Guinea-Australia Incentive Fund.
Fourteen rice mills were handed over to the people of Mutzing in Markham District, Wampit in Huon District, and Menyamya District by representatives from the Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia and the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) during October. The rice mills are being delivered to communities across the province with funding from a K2.5 million Incentive Fund grant which aims to ensure long‑term food security by decreasing reliance on imported rice.
Australian Consul-General in Lae, Paul Murphy was pleased to attend the official handover ceremony. He noted that “the rice mills and associated solar power facilities will support communities and make processing of local grown rice easier. This is a step towards PNG’s goal of increasing domestic rice production”.
Former training participant and rice farmer from Wampit, Angelina Taison said: “I am excited and want to grow more rice because we will have a solar rice mill machine. I will be able to mill and eat my own rice.”
NARI has been supporting the development of rice in Papua New Guinea for the last 15 years. Through this pilot project, valuable information will be generated on how farmers can increase household income. The project will also transfer skills and knowledge on rice growing and processing, improve access to renewable energy, and reduce reliance on diesel fuel.
The project is implemented by NARI in partnership with Trukai Industries Limited, Project Support Services Ltd, Morobe Division of Agriculture Livestock, and PNG Women in Agriculture Development Foundation.