Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Students learn about balsa downstream processing

By UNRE Public Relations
Second year agriculture students of University of Natural Resources & Environment (UNRE) visited two balsa companies in East New Britain recently to learn more about producing better quality of timber and to know how to maintain and improve timber production.
As part of their study on the subject of timber selection, processing and pruning, two groups of second-year students visited the campus based Marsha Berman Sawmill and PNG Balsa Company’s sawmill and processing plant at Takubar, Kokopo.
Students wait for PNG Balsa assistant production manager Joe Raka (left) to take them on the company facilities tour
The students, totaling more than 100, were taken in three tour groups, each conducted by a member of the managing staff of PNG Balsa.
Forestry technical officer, Daniel Waldi, one of two staff members who accompanied them, said the main emphasis of the trip was for students to see firsthand how timber quality was maintained and improved during downstream processing.
The pruning demonstration was carried out at the university’s balsa plantation.
This is the second such visit and Waldi said he noticed a marked improvement in the students’ understanding of the course material, especially in the technology involved in downstream processing of timber.
Student Lydia Lang said the field trip was in line with their lectures on downstream processing.
She said they had found it beneficial as it allowed them to see the processes involved.
Waldi thanked PNG Balsa management staff, Joe Raka (assistant production manager), Bongive Lehe, (assistant production manager) and David Wesley (operations supervisor), for taking the time to give students a tour of the company’s facilities.

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