Deputy PM visits new dairy farm

A HIGH-LEVEL government deputation visited the newly established K128 million Ilimo Dairy Farm last week led by Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel.
Deputy PM visits new dairy farm Deputy PM visits new dairy farm Deputy PM visits new dairy farm Deputy PM visits new dairy farm Deputy PM visits new dairy farm

Ilan Weiss at Ilimo Dairy Farm

Staff Reporter

Abel was accompanied by Trade Minister Wera Mori and Agriculture Minister Benny Allen to the project in Kairiku-Hiri District of Central Province which is being developed by Israeli company Innovative Agro Industry (IAI).
IAI is the operator of the dairy farm, holding a 50% interest in it while the government has a 20% stake and Central Province a 30% stake.
The area is a traditionally used for agriculture but the establishment of such a high-tech facility for milk and dairy goods production is a first.
Papua New Guinea imports much of its milk and other dairy produce, such as cheese, butter and ice cream.
The National newspaper reported Abel saying that he was there to give his support to develop the relationship with the project.
"We need to catch up with some of our support in terms of funding and we need to do that," Abel said. "Papua New Guinea needs to produce its own food, its own energy, and bring the cost of doing business down.
"And it comes back to making sure that investments are created onshore, jobs are not exported and some of the short-term issues we continue to go through like the foreign exchange, and the ups and downs in our revenue - it's because we are heavily import-reliant."
Allen said the farm was a huge investment which supported a big agenda of the government to revive the agriculture sector.
"We should expect the dairy products on the shelves by January next year. It's an exciting time for us and we look forward to that," he said.
IAI says the dairy farm venture is intended to partially replace dairy imports with high quality local dairy production thus increasing self-sufficiency.
The farm comprises about 175ha of field crops producing Guinea grass and maize to support 500 head of milking cows.
It also includes a dairy processing plant and state-of-the-art equipment with a daily capacity of 19,500 litres of milk.
IAI has been in PNG since 2011, under the leadership of executive director Ilan Weiss, and has several other projects on the go, including a vegetable farm at 9 Mile and other food production centres.




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