NARI Keravat has established commercial development blocks to help fund its research and development operations. A K344, 000 European Union Commercial project was established at Keravat in January 2004 to define income generating potentials within the Institute by cultivating cocoa and other alternative cash crops (balsa, nutmeg, pepper, turmeric, okari, galip and taun) on a commercial basis. This activity will also re-establish commercial crops and research trials that were devastated by the Rabaul volcanic eruptions of 1994. Funding for rehabilitating the station has been unavailable and a major investment programme, such as the current on-going European Union Commercialization project, is required to rehabilitate the station to realize its income generating potential.
The project has two main purposes to oversee:
1. To establish a capacity to generate sustainable annual revenue for NARI
2. To determine and make available to stakeholders information on commercial viability of selected alternative cash crops
LAES Keravat, the oldest and largest NARI research station, has around 400 hectares of land. Funding under the project can develop 72 hectares for commercial use. NARI has engaged one scientific officer and two technical staff to oversee the project management and field operations. At present it is also utilizing scientific and technical expertise from the Institute's other sections such as farm management, entomology, plant pathology, tissue culture, food and cash crops agronomy, and the Outreach and Liaison Unit. This has resulted in 12 hectares of balsa and 7 hectares of cocoa established within the third quarter of 2004.
For further information, contact:
NARI Wet Lowlands Islands Programme
P.O Box 204, KOKOPO
East New Britian Province
Papua New Guinea
Phone: (675) 983 9145
Fax: (675) 983 9129