It was NARI’s plan to expand and regionalize livestock research activities to other agro-ecological zones of the country where other NARI programmes are located. This is expected to enable a “need based livestock research” and assisting farmers in those regions rather than depending on the main livestock programme currently operating out of Labu in the Morobe province.
The Lowlands Agricultural Experimental Station (LAES) at Keravat has already established a poultry breeding and hatchery units. With the hatchery Unit, LAES Kerevat will hatch and supply Australorps and other suitable poultry breeds to farmers in the New Guinea Islands Region.
It was also thought that the introduction of improved poultry breeds will result in improved food security, nutrition and income generation capacity of small holder farmers throughout the New Guinea Islands region.
Current focus of livestock work at NARI Kerevat is on breeding and distribution of Australorp. The Kerevat Poultry project development was a collaborative project supported by the Australian Innovative Grant Support Facility (AIGF) and the Papua New Guinea National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI)
Initial Work has commenced and further research work is planned in assessing growth performance of australorps and cross breeds chickens fed on diluted commercial feed with Copra meal, cassava meal, rice brands, fish meal and fodder and forages depending on its palatability and availability. Maintaining food security is a key issue to address by promoting poultry keeping. Feed and availability of feed resources is key component of research that poultry work will address from its research.
Development of duck breeding flock is the next in poultry research work that Kerevat programme is undertaking. Some progress is made in breeding of duck flock at the station, and further needed development work, that once complete, duck breeding and related research issues will be addressed to the benefit of the farmers. Breeding and distribution from LAES NARI – Kerevat will also be possible for interested farmers in the region in future.
Farmers in NGI region are active in crops and cash crop production with little activity on livestock. Therefore, livestock research in Keravat will focus on promoting more livestock activities. Broad research focus will be on assessing feed and locally available feed resources. Equally important is availability of research information and replacement stock to farmers, are key issues that Kerevat Livestock will try to address. Due to distance and location, the commercial stock feed price is always very high.
Constantly increase in feed prices is detrimental to poultry farmers, in New Island Regions. The NARI Keravat Poultry research aims to hatch and distribute day olds young chicks of Australorps and cross breed to poultry farmers in East New Britain Province and the New Guinea Islands Region. But for farmers to be active in producing poultry, a constant feed supply is necessary.
• Project Activities:
i. Assist NAQIA – ENBP in restocking areas devastated by New castle Disease, to enable possible lifting of the poultry ban placed due to new castle disease outbreak.
ii. Routine management of hatchery for successful hatch and distribution of pullets
iii. Assessing feed use efficiency of the australorps and cross breeds fed on local feed ingredients.
iv. To use practical/training students execute breed performance evaluations on F1 on Australorps and F1 cross breeds, when fed commercial stock feed and blend commercial feed with local feed ingredients.
• Project proposed output:
Proposed output from current livestock/poultry will be:
Constant replacement stock available to farmers in New Guinea Islands region to sustain their operation.
Information available on using local feed ingredients in making balanced diet for poultry feed.
Increased number of farmers involved in livestock activity, poultry mainly.
Other livestock species promoted from Keravat Programme,
For further information, contact:
The Lowlands Agricultural Experimental Station (LAES) Keravat
Papua New Guinea.
P O Box 204
East New Britain Province
Papua New Guinea.
Phone: (675) 983 9145/983/983 9200
Fax: (675) 9839129