By Staff Reporter : PNG Today
There is a strong correlation between the availability of rice mills, increased production and consumption of rice.
Trukai Industries Ltd (TIL) has always played an important role in promoting the use of mills in PNG.
Approximately 20 years ago, TIL introduced a rice micro-mill into the country which found its home amongst the smallholder rice farmers in the country.
Currently, these mills are distributed by agricultural retailers such as Brian Bell Co Ltd, Farmset Ltd, and others in the country.
The micro mills have become an integral part of rice farming and continue to encourage smallholder rice production in the country.
As part of its collaborative efforts to strengthen food security through rice farming, TIL is working closely with its partners the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) and Project Support Services (PSS).
PSS is the manufacturer of these mills and introducing new rice milling technology to the farmers of PNG.
A pilot project funded through the Incentive Fund (IF) by the Australian Government will test a total of eighty solar powered rice mills in thirty communities in the Morobe province.
This mill is much more versatile in providing household rice milling requirements and able to provide a clean energy solution to communities engaged in rice farming.
Prior to the inception of this project, Trukai procured over one hundred units from PSS which are now being distributed throughout PNG especially where our pilot projects are established.
These are in the West New Britain, Central, Oro, Morobe, the Western provinces, and are likely to be extended to other provinces such as the East Sepik and Madang where rice is currently grown by the farmers.
Trukai was initially involved in providing feedback on the early prototypes of the solar mills to PSS so the technology could be improved.
TIL has gone ahead to sponsor training of over twenty farmers and has undertaken a follow-up training, setup and testing of the initial kits delivered to farmers in the Oro province.