Caption: Minister Michael Ogio (centre) and guests enjoying a demonstration on one of the new equipment, Inductive Coupled Plasma Spectrometer, during the commissioning of the new NARI Chemistry Laboratory
By SENIORL ANZU of NARI
National Agriculture Research Institute’s chemistry laboratory in
The laboratory boasts a refurbished building facility with new and state-of-art analytical equipment which are comparable to leading agricultural laboratories internationally, to provide first-class testing services to the agricultural sector in PNG.
They were installed through public support at the value of more than K4 million.
The equipment include some of the latest and the most advanced analytical equipment such as ICP (Inductive Coupled Plasma Spectrometer) , HPLC ( High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph), FIA (Flow Injector Analyser), AAS (Automatic Absorption Spectrometer), CS (Carbon Analyser), Bomb Calorimeter, and rubber certification equipment.
Services they provide include:
· Soil and leaf analysis for assessing soil fertility, crop suitability, identification of deficiencies and to recommend fertiliser technologies;
· Food testing for quality, nutrients, deficiencies and contaminants;
· Natural product analysis, spice and pyrethrum testing for assessment of correct harvesting, drying, treatment and quality;
· Root and tuber analysis for quality, grading and specifications;
· Stock-feed analysis for nutrient content and best formulation;
· Fertiliser analysis for specification conformance;
· Drinking water testing for quality and standards conformance;
· Environmental analysis of river water, sea water, soils and wastes; and
· Carbon footprinting of climate change.
The new laboratory and testing facilities were officially commissioned by the Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Michael Ogio recently, witnessed by representatives from European Union, AusAID, Department of Agriculture and Livestock, NARI and many other stakeholders.
With this world-class laboratory facility, NARI is now well-positioned to provide necessary analytical and advisory services not only to the agricultural sector (both smallholders and commercial agriculture) but also to others in the areas of environment, public health, education, training and research.
The services can also be provided to other countries in the South Pacific.
The installation of the new facilities came as a restoration exercise after the old facility was destroyed in an accidental fire in 2005.
Through tireless efforts, NARI was able to steadily mobilise funding and partnership support. Thus was the restoration of equipment and instruments with funding support from PNG government under the National Agriculture Development Plan and laboratory building rehabilitation by European Union and NARI.
NARI is looking forward to further enhancement of its abilities in the areas of laboratory accreditation, organic testing and certification, food testing of all types and types, and human resource development under the SPACNET initiatives by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).