ACIAR perspective Norah Devoe

NARI team at Kerevat has been commended in addressing various aspects on the commercialisation and development of galip in the 20 years.

Positive steps are being taken to make the galip industry more sustainable in the next 10 years.

The second phase of the ‘Enhancing private sector-led development of the Canarium industry in PNG’ project coming into effect this year is expected to build on some of the research and development activities from the previous project, to firm up and establish a commercially viable industry, with benefits trickling down to rural farmers and resource owners of the indigenous PNG nut.

The project is funded by ACIAR and includes collaborations with University of Sunshine Coast and University of Adelaide and NARI.

Research and development work will centre around four objectives.

 1. Improve the commercial viability and kernel spoilage and providing additional income to nut suppliers. Another aspect it will look at are medium-scale processing techniques to improve profitability of processing and contribute to value chain optimisation, revenue streams, profit potential and investments.

2. Establish sustainable value chains to foster private sector market development. This work will require research on market demand and potential for different galip products (nuts, oil, by-products) in the domestic PNG market and the type of products and market segments which are most profitable and sustainable.

There is also opportunity to look at export market potential for different galip nut products.

3. Empower women to participate in the galip value chain by trying to understand what are the labour inputs and financial returns for smallholders and microenterprises growing and selling galip, what smallholder processing methods  are recommended to improve returns to smallholders/tree owners and to ensure reliable supply and quality to processors.

This includes extension and training support and development of best-practice management.

 A key component in this area is to identify the factors that enable microenterprises and female entrepreneurs to participate in Canarium value adding and what gender dimensions influence participation in the galip value chain.

 4. Enhance nut supply and quality by improving production of galip nuts.

Proposed research activities will include recommended harvesting systems for improved returns at reduced labour costs to smallholders/tree owners to ensure reliable supply, galip weevil damage levels and its effect on tree health, variability in fruit production and nut size between trees from different sources and breeding systems.

A project inception meeting held in Kerevat in February brought together personnel from the collaborating institutions including some of the processors in East New Britain like Devine Management Services, Niugini Organics and Equanut and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to discuss what the project sets out to achieve.

 Deputy Director General Dr Akkinapally Ramakrishna in his remarks expressed the institute’s appreciation to European Union for funding galip research for over 20 years. 

Dr Ramakrishna commended the team for developing the project to address various aspects of development and commercialization and challenged all stakeholders to think as a team, set out a galip roadmap that captures all areas to be a viable and sustainable industry, five to 10 years from now.

Nora Devoe, ACIAR Forestry program manager, in opening discussions said the vision of the project is something about people coming together to grow and make something.

 She said, “The vision and idea that ACIAR is bringing is private sector led. In other words, we are not the developers, we are catalysts, facilitators, coordinators, technical resource, but we need the private sector to be the industry.  That’s the whole idea”.

 Ms Devoe expressed ACIAR’s continued support in this project through funding by the Australian government is for the benefit of the small farmers, the people who have the trees, and collect the galip nuts.