Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ramu: PNG can produce own beef

Papua New Guinea continues to import most of its beef, despite the fact that it can produce its own of very high quality, according to Ramu Agri Industries Ltd general manager Jamie Graham.
RAIL runs the biggest cattle ranch in the country with more than 20,000 head at Leron Plains in the Markham Valley of Morobe province.

Cattle in a yard at the RAIL’s Leron Plains Ranch in the Markham Valley of Morobe province last Thursday.-Nationalpic by MALUM NALU
The cattle are are then taken to the feedlot at Gusap in Ramu Valley of Madang province, to be fattened and slaughtered.
Graham said there was no government support for the local beef industry whatsoever, and it was very difficult to import livestock into PNG, because of protocol measures imposed by National Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA).
“There’s no doubt that that the quality of Ramu beef has increased,” he told The National.
“Fifity-five (55) per cent of the beef is imported.
“Again, there’s no government assistance.
“The Department of Agriculture and Livestock is of no assistance whatsoever.”
Leron Plains manager Bruce 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 there
He said calves were raised for six months before being weaned (separated from their source of milk), fed until they weighed about 300kg when they were moved to Gusap, and then fattened in the feedlot until they weighed 400kg when they were 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.”

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