It is galip season in East New Britain, and every day, farmers arrive in truck loads at NARI Kerevat to sell their galip nuts in pulp.
The increase in galip has prompted the management at Kerevat to obtain extra nut crackers and employ short term workers to process the crop.
The increased activity has generated interest in galip as a new commercial crop. Two groups of students from different learning institutions in East New Britain province recently visited to learn about galip project activities as part of their agricultural studies.
Sixty 3rd and 4th year Bachelors in Agriculture students at the University of Natural Resources and Environment, Vudal Campus visited in October. Their specific subject of interest was research activities on the Galip Weevil and the galip tree.
Entomologist Jacob Yombai showed them the rearing and monitoring of the pest in the laboratory and the field.
The two-hour visit brought questions by students on telling the difference between the male and female galip weevil, their reproductive cycle, and the stages of galip weevil life cycle. The students were also shown the elite indige-nous galip trees.
Following this visit, 48 students from Sonoma Adventist College doing their 1st, 2nd and 3rd year in Tropical Agriculture arrived on October 28 to learn about galip production. They were shown the process from buying, depulping, drying and cracking of galip nuts and the various packaged galip products, the galip weevil rearing studies and its negative effects on galip trees. The students were also shown trials done on flowering and harvesting of the trees.
The Head of Tropical Agriculture Department and Lecturer Gerald Nayak, complimented the NARI staff saying, “This work is exciting and we must all work together to see galip, an indige-nous and unknown crop, become an industrial crop for PNG”.