High rice volume in Goroka: Experts
By NELSON JOE
Stalks of rice at Fimito valley in Mimanalo local level government of Goroka district in Eastern Highlands Province yields 100 per cent of high-quality grain.
Governor Simon Sia was impressed with this potential on his visit to the field last week Tuesday.
Professor Lin Yingxing, director of the Goroka-based China Aid Upland Rice Project to PNG, accompanied by other officers, told Mr Sia one hectare of the field could produce six to eight tonnes of rice.
“Rice import countries, especially in Asia, can harvest two to three tonnes of rice from a hectare of land but six to eight tonnes of rice can be harvested from a hectare of lands in Papua New Guinea,” he said.
“We have not applied any chemicals like fertilisers or pesticides.
“They are organic rice with their natural taste intact.
“The result so far from many tests we have been conducting throughout the country, including Fimito rice fields, are positive.
“Rice import can easily be replaced with our own cultivated from the whole valley from Asaro in Daulo district to Keiya valley in lower Bena in Unggai-Bena district.”
He said Goroka was within the altitude range between 900 and 1500 metres above sea that was best for farming dry land rice.
Juncao Upland Rice project coordinator Timothy Ukii said they had not replaced the first brand of rice seedlings they had introduced in 1999.
“The Golden Mountain A-1 brand is perennial and yields premium quality of grain,” he said.
“It is like the Jasmine rice that we get from the store.
“This is the first brand of rice seedlings we have introduced and they have shown good results consistently over the years.”
He said they could harvest twice from one stem, given that they were planted during the wet season. An impressed governor made a quick calculation that a 50kg of rice lasting an individual for a year.
“This is like 12 years from one harvest from a hectare of land by a farmer,” Mr Sia said.
Meanwhile, Fimito community leader Francis Warigiso told Sia that the rice farming pilot project had been going on at the valley for more than two decades without serious commitment from the authorities and stakeholders to commercialise the rice fields on.
Mr Sia said the provincial government would help where there was a will.
“The people must release their land to whoever wants to grow rice so that we can work together to realise our potential in the rice industry,” he said.
Prof Yingxing said they had the expertise and technology to encourage rice production and were committed to ensure food security for Papua New Guinea through rice.
He said they had contributed in the development of the Rigo rice project in Central Province and were committed to do the same where there was partnership.https://www.postcourier.com.pg/high-rice-volume-in-goroka-experts/
Published Date: May 24, 2023