Investors pursue rice farming

The government is fulfilling its plan to importing less and developing more local agriculture industry by inviting investors to collaborate with the government and local people in developing large agricultural farms.

This week Minister for International Trade and Investment, Richard Maru received one of the first groups of investors, the Number one Filipino Rice Farmer, Danilo Bolos and accompanied his delegates of technical people to parts of Kairuku district to pursue rice-farming prospects.

On Wednesday 25 January, the team of Members of Parliament including Richard Maru, Vice Minister Kessy Sawang and Member for Kairuku, Peter Isoaimo, visited possible rice farming land in Kairuku district.

They were accompanied by Philippines former Secretary for Department of Agriculture, Dr. Emmanul Pinol and Bolos, to talk with the landowners regarding land for rice farming.   

“Councilor, these are investors and they will not put their money, their time and effort in any land where there will be dispute. That’s why the model farm must be on state land, not customary land. But you can plant up your own, after you get the training and support from the main model farm,” said Minister Maru. 

The aim of the visit is also to check the soil samples as well as securing a state land that has ample land to build a rice farming mill site which will help improve the livelihood of the surrounding villages in terms of job opportunities and creating sustainable rice farming pathways for the locals.

Dr. Pinol who made first contact with PNG government said the discussion about the possibilities of growing rice in PNG goes back to the former government under Peter O’Neill. 

“Today I’m out of government and I come back to fulfill a promise to government. I made to Minister Maru and Prime Minister Marape that I will help even in my private capacity to achieve the dream of PNG to produce your own rice. I know that you have been told that you cannot grow your own rice you cannot plant rice in PNG. It is wrong. The truth is that PNG & Indonesia are two of the countries in the world with the most number of wild rice varieties,” Dr. Pinol said. 

The investors have also plans to grow other crops as well if the rice project is successfully completed as they see PNG has the largest land mass that hasn't been occupied by large scale commercial farming compared to Philippines.


Date: 27-Jan-2023