Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Zealand Governor-General assures assistance to Papua New Guinea vegetable growers

New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand and Lady Satyanand with dancers at Goroka airport
New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand and Lady Satyanand with Asaro mudmen at Goroka airport
Students of Kabiufa Adventist High School line up to welcome New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand
New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand speaking at Kabiufa Adventist High School
New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand with a highlands woven cap at Kabiufa Adventist High School
When in Goroka, do as the Gorokas do...New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand and Lady Satyanand at Kabiufa Adventist High School
New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand inspecting a cabbage patch at Kabiufa Adventist High School
New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand and Lady Satyanand being shown around Goroka market by FPDA general manager Greg Liripu
New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand being taken around Goroka market by FPDA manager production & supply Robert Lutulule
New Zealand Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand today assured vegetable growers of Papua New Guinea that his country would assist in whatever way it could to assist the development of PNG’s fresh vegetable industry.
Sir Anand made the commitment during a visit to the once-famous vegetable-growing hub at Kabiufa Adventist High School, just outside of Goroka, which is being revived with the assistance and expertise of the Fresh Produce Development Agency.
The New Zealand vice-regal also made brief visit to the well-known Goroka market to see growers and their produce.
He was accompanied by his wife Lady Satyanand, New Zealand High Commissioner Niels Holm and his wife Suzette Holm, as well as government officials from both New Zealand and PNG.
Kabiufa Farm Fresh Vegetables – during its heyday until closure in 1995 – was renowned for its trademark vegetables.
Sir Anand said he was very impressed to see the fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers of Goroka, which is known internationally for its perennial springtime climate.
“I can see what a wonderful, fertile place this is,” he told an appreciative, cheering audience of flag-waving students at Kabiufa High School.
“I have been told about the wonderful potential for food (in PNG).
“I think that the initiative to grow food is something that is so vital for the future of Papua New Guinea.
“It is something that New Zealand can assist with.
“It seems a vital project for the future, which will benefit everyone.”
Kabiufa principal Terry Haru said it was an honour to have Sir Anand visit as New Zealand was once an agriculture development partner with the school.
“Some 20 years ago, the New Zealand government became a partner with us in agriculture, where your government funded some agriculture projects here at the school,” he said.
“With the revival of the farm, we are planning to look at developing an agri-business curriculum, where we could train and equip young people with knowledge and skills that they would be able to use to earn their living.
“Our project will aim at addressing issues like school dropouts, employment creation, participation of women in agriculture and agriculture extension service delivery.”
Mr Haru acknowledged the fact that the New Zealand government regularly supported projects initiated by FPDA and Kabiufa Adventist High School.
“Through the assistance and partnership of FPDA and your government and through our partnership with FPDA, we will extend our agriculture training programmes to women, youth and the local community farmers, who could benefit in acquiring knowledge and skills to produce vegetables and other farm products and to sell or know how to run their own businesses in other areas as well.”

Monday, September 28, 2009

Potato screen houses to boost rural economy

Front of one of the new potato screen houses
Side view of the new potato screen houses
FPDA general manager Greg Liripu (right) explains potato culture to Tambul-Nebilyer MP Benjamin Poponawa (centre) and Eastern Highlands agriculture advisor John Sari
The new potato screen houses in the Tambul valley
Tambul-Nebilyer MP Benjamin Poponawa (centre) cuts the ribbon to open the new potato screen houses, assisted by FPDA chairman Fabian Chow
The Fresh Produce Development Agency officially opened its 24 newly-constructed aphid (pest)-proof screen houses for potato mini-tuber production at Tambul in the Western Highlands province last Tuesday.
The total investment by the Papua New Guinea government and the governments of New Zealand and Australia for the development of these 24 screen houses is about K1.2 million.
The government of PNG through the Department of National Planning and Monitoring is the significant funder of the project through its annual development budget.
These 24 screen houses will significantly contribute to the income and livelihoods of many of the resource-poor citizens of PNG, living in the higher altitude areas of PNG.
The seed potato programme is a major programme under FPDA’s production & supply division in terms of development of a single vegetable crop.
FPDA focused on the crop because it is an important source of cash income for the people living in the higher altitude areas of PNG such as Tambul in Western Highlands; Kandep and Laiagam districts in Enga; Upper Mendi, Ialibu and Nembi plateu in Southern Highlands; and Daulo and Okapa in Eastern Highlands, to name a few.
The programme has three components:
1. Plantlets production using tissue culture technique;
2. Mini-tuber production using plantlets; and
3. Field production of elite, mother and certified seed through private seed potato growers
FPDA had an initial agreement with National Agriculture Research Institute in 2004 for NARI to supply 2, 000 plantlets per month.
In 2007, FPDA signed a new agreement with NARI for 6,000 plantlets per month due to the renovation of three old screen houses and construction of nine new screen houses.
Recently, in June 2009, FPDA yet again signed a new agreement with NARI for 12,000 plantlets per month following the construction of 12 new screen houses, which now brings the total number of screen houses to 24.
The total annual requirement of plantlets will now amount to 144,000 plantlets per year.
The 24 houses are expected to yield more than 8,000kg of mini tubers per year.
“This is a significant improvement compared to five years ago whereby FPDA was only able to produce 500 to 1, 000kg of mini tubers per year,” explains FPDA production and supply manager Robert Lutulule.
“The 8,000kg of mini tubers will be further multiplied on station twice before selling to mother and certified private seed growers.
“With an average multiplication rate of 5kg per kg of seed potato, it is expected that 40,000kg of generation one seeds will be produced in one year’s time; 200,000kg of generation two seeds in two year’s time; one million kg of generation three seeds in three year’s time and finally five million kg of generation four seeds in four year’s time.
“The generation four or certified seeds are normally used by ordinary farmers to produce potatoes which are sold in open markets, fast food outlets and hotels.
“The value of this five million kg of seed potatoes is estimated at K10 million, meaning that seed growers have the potential to earn K10m per year from the sale of their seeds.
“These five million kg of seeds is expected to generate more than K25m for ware potato growers per annum.
“With the estimated lifespan of the aphid proof screen houses of 10 years, these 24 screen houses are expected to enrich seed potato growers with K100m and ware potato farmers with K250m over 10 years.”
Currently, the programme has 52 seed growers.
Thirty are located in Western Highlands and Southern Highlands, while 20 are located in Eastern Highlands.
“FPDA has been approached by interested parties in Enga, Southern Highlands and Simbu provinces to help expand the seed potato programme to these respective provinces,” Mr Lutulule adds.
“The seed potato programme provides training, technical support and advisory services free of charge, especially to existing and intending private seed potato farmers.
“It has eight officers who have various degrees of experiences in potato production and seed certification.
“FPDA is currently running an innovative seed potato production scheme with the support of the Eastern Highlands provincial government, whereby, through core funding support from the provincial government, it is identifying and developing ordinary farmers to become competent seed potato farmers in the province.
“The province is now increasingly becoming self-sufficient in seed potato supply because of the project.
“Five years ago, farmers in Eastern Highlands used to source all their seed requirements from Western Highlands’ seed growers.
“The success of this model has convinced FPDA to expand the scheme to other provinces in the Highlands region and the coastal provinces that have climatic conditions suitable for growing potato.”

So who are behind the LNG prospects?



LIQUEFIED Natural Gas (LNG) is a big multi-billion dollar project in any country.

 Papua New Guinea is vying to make it into this private investment business.

Two separate prospects are rearing for Waigani’s full support.

The Exxon-led consortium has Public Enterprise Ministry support.

All things were done contrary to law to prop up Waigani’s support.

Public Enterprise Ministry was not the legitimate State nominee prior to May 22, 2008.

The Oil and Gas law was amended to legitimise it.

It also amended the law on public enterprises to legitimise appointment of a manager of Oil Search Limited as the chairperson of the Public Enterprise Corporation.

Public Enterprise Corporation held shares in Oil Search Limited on behalf of the State of PNG prior to disposal of those shares to Oil Sheiks of Abu Dhabi.

The last we heard of this was that the proceeds were parked in a Singapore account.

Now InterOil is very diplomatic in its paid advertisement in the Sunday Chronicle (Sunday, 27 September 2009, p.28).

It says it has the support of the Prime Minister.

It hopes other Ministers will support.

The InterOil-led consortium has Petromin in it.

Petromin is the State nominee.

It abandoned its legal right in the Exxon-led consortium.

Had it pursued its right it would have exposed the LNG rot.

 It counted on the Prime Minister as owner and Minister responsible for Petromin to bring on the InterOil-led LNG prospect.

Susuve Laumea is also very diplomatic in his commentary in the Sunday Chronicle, “PNG at risk of losing two LNG projects (Sunday, 27 September 2009, p.16).

Slowly we are seeing the rot in LNG business and politics being exposed.

 Lot of rumours we have been hearing looks like are real.

Leaders want pay before service.

And they are using position power to be lustful and greedy.

Politicians, be they old or young, are trustees of people power.

As trustees they are duty-bound to make decisions and take actions for the benefit of the people.

 If Susuve Laumea’s assertion is true that leaders and bureaucrats have lost their way then people must demand change.

People power movement ought to be encouraged.

The open letter to the people of PNG by InterOil is a step in the right direction.

It looks like we will see more of these in the not-too-distant future.

When all is said and done, PNG will be free of manipulation and control of leaders, bureaucrats, and big businesses.

God bless PNG and her people.


27 September 2009


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Postcards from Wau-Bulolo from the 1950s and 1960s

Bowling green at Wau
Catholic church at Goroka
Edie Creek Road, Wau
Grandstand at the Bulolo sports ground
Mumeng bridge on the Wau-Bulolo Road

Natives at Gurakor Creek on the Wau-Bulolo Road
Overlooking the township of Wau
Pine Lodge Hotel, Bulolo
Postcard cover of Wau Botanical Gardens
Rainclouds approaching Wau
RSL Club at Wau
The valley of Bulolo

Friday, September 25, 2009

Postcards from Lae from the 1950s and 1960s

Attractive Coronation Drive, Lae
Bowling green, Lae
Colourful Bretag Park, Lae
Children's pool, Lae Botanical Gardens
Hotel Cecil, Lae
IPI Building, Lae
Lae Golf Course
Lily pond, Lae Botanical Gardens
Niall Reserve Sports Ground
Red Cross Hostel, Coronation Drive, Lae
Rich tropical growth in Botanical Gardens, Lae
View of Huon Gulf from RSL Club
View over Lae and the Huon Gulf from Lae Club
View of Voco Point from Stewart Park
Voco Point, Lae

Pictures of the opening of Fresh Produce Development Agency's potato project in Tambul, Western Highlands province

Above are pictures of the opening of the Fresh Produce Development Agency's 12 new potato screen houses in Tambul, Western Highlands province, on Tuesday, September 22.