Thursday, June 21, 2012

Endless potential for beef venture


PAPUA New Guinea has endless potential for beef production, according to the manager of Leron Plains Cattle Ranch, the biggest in the country, The National reports.
 The ranch is owned by Ramu Agri Industries Ltd, which is part of the New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL) Group.
It has more than 20,000 head at Leron Plains in the Markham Valley of Morobe province, which are then taken to the feedlot at Gusap in Ramu Valley of Madang province, to be fattened and slaughtered.
Leron manager Bruce Guaran told The National during a visit of the ranch last Thursday that PNG’s beef industry had great potential and should be supported.
Cattle at Leron Plains Cattle Ranch last Thursday. They are raised here and then moved to Gusap to be further fattened and slaughtered.-Nationalpic by MALUM NALU

“It (PNG beef industry) has got endless potential,” he said.
“You need protein in the country.
“It’s Papua New Guinean, not imported.
“It’s fantastic quality for the price.
“It’s a good product.
“New Britain Palm Oil Ltd is investing in the property for the future.
“If the company had not been interested, it would not have invested.”
Guaran said cattle were raised on about 9,000ha of land there before being taken to Gusap.
Apart from grass, they are also fed sorghum grown on site at Leron.
He said calves were raised for six months before being weaned (separated from their source of milk), fed until they weighed about 300kg.
They are then moved to Gusap,  fattened in the feedlot until they weigh 400kg before they are taken to the abattoir to be slaughtered.
“It can be 18 months to two years and they are slaughtered,” Guaran said.
“This (Leron Plains) is the biggest cattle ranch for the company and also the biggest in PNG.
“At present, we have about 30 fulltime staff and 45 casual staff.
“This open grassland plain is great for cattle.
“It’s great cattle country.
“It’s good cropping country too.”
According to NBPOL’s 2011 annual report, the group remained the largest producer of beef in PNG, however, “beef production will continue to play only a minor role in the overall investment strategy of the group”.
“This does not mean that the beef operations will not receive investment, or that beef production cannot be significantly improved to provide a valuable resource to supplement the earning capacity of the group, especially in areas where cattle and oil palms can be intercropped, or in areas where oil palms are unsuited as a sole commercial crop,” it said.
“The group’s herd size showed show growth with 20,000 cattle managed in two separate locations (RAIL 16,500 head and West New Britain 3,500 head).
“The group herd produced some 1, 284,000kg of beef for the PNG market, generating revenue of K14.9 million."

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