Papua New Guinea
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Rice farmers here for training

The first five Sepik commercial rice farm trainees will be undergoing a two months of intensive commercial rice training at the Rigo Rice mill in Central province.

The farmers arrived in Port Moresby yesterday and were welcomed by the Minister for International Trade and Investment Richard Maru, and the owner of Rigo Rice, Jeffrey Kennedy.

Mr Maru said he was very thankful to Rigo Rice for providing the expertise and training available for this commercial rice farm trainees who will be Master Trainers after they complete their training.

“They will learn the skills of growing rice from the nursery all the way to growing the rice.
”This includes keeping the pests away and milling.

“Part of the training will also involve the use of tractors and other equipment.

“After their two months of training they will return to the Sepik Plains where we expect to start the first commercial rice trial farm in November this year,” he said.

From his experience of growing rice in Rigo for five years, Mr Kennedy said he believes that PNG does not have to import K900 million worth of rice every year.

He said he is committed to work with the government to build a local domestic rice industry to produce over 400,000 metric tonnes of rice over the next 5 years.

“We must believe in ourselves as the time is right and I am happy to partner the government under the SEZ program to lead this journey,” Mr Kennedy said.