Papua New Guinea’s National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), which is PNG’s leading organisation in conducting and fostering applied and development oriented research in agriculture and rural development has earmarked Vanuatu’s specialist on nuts, Mr Charles Long Wah to lead the upcoming high profile Melanesian stakeholders’ meeting on indigenous nuts in PNG.
Dr Sim Sar- Director of NARI, Dr Moxon and Dr Tio Naveni from PNG’S Kerevat Nangae Centre, Mrs Helen Tsatsia, the Acting Director of Agriculture in Solomon Islands, Mrs Lily Sar of PNG’s University of Technology Communication and Development Studies, the Custom Garden, two female presidents of Papuan Women and Solomon women in Agriculture, representing over 200,000 women are part of this important stakeholders’ meeting.
All are delighted and excited Vanuatu’s Mr Long Wah has accepted to lead the Melanesian Stakeholders workshop on indigenous nuts in Kerevat, New Britain, PNG commencing September 22, 2013.
The training will cover several workshops on value adding, solar crop dryer on fruits, vegetables, spices and nuts and will be immediately followed by a value adding workshop in Solomon Islands the next month.
Hundreds of representatives are expected to convene in Kerevat- from the PNG Government, Universities, Business houses, Research Institutes, potential nut growers, experts and foreign scientists.
NARI has confirmed securing major PNG Government, EU and AusAID funding to assure Mr Long Wah can conduct the training.
Around 60 participants from Santo rural and surrounding Luganville will attend a ten days preservation and Value adding training on local crops starting Monday next week Funded by TVET and World Vision it will be conducted by Kava’s store Charles Long Wah at the Agriculture College with the aim to boost the income earning capacity of rural farmers and improve food security (in off seasons) and processing at the village level.
“My techniques of value adding of natural produce is unique, whether to the most remote village or town with only a saucepan and spoon, now with a solar food dryer,” said Long Wah, after conducting similar workshops for 20 years all over north and south Pacific to hundreds of Pacific islanders. “These ten days training will upscale productivity and pass on lifetime skills of value adding a product in syrup, pastes, flavoring in tamarind, preserved mango, pineapple, pawpaw, nandau, naus, soursop, chutney, chilly and tamarind and candy (coconut).
“Equipped with four solar dryers we will be able to make over 100 semi and value added agricultural crops with no costs and obtain much safe food security with abundant in fruits, spices, indigenous nuts, root crops and bread fruits going to waste each year in the rural areas.
This, he said, will significantly decline in the coming months, in particular aggregated crops such as root crops, nut in shells, low value vegetables, fresh kava, fruits to town, ships and high costs of transportation.
“The Vanuatu market has not change much in the past 60 years, it is based mainly in low value crops with miserable profits, eventually creating more conflicts between farmers having the same agriculture crops generating mass exodus to urban drift and more poverty.
“We must produce the volume of agricultural crops in rural areas before we can talk about export.”
Nangai nuts Sourced Online
A solar crop dryer is the answer to high costs of nangai (canarium indicum) transportation, heavy nut volume, and the deterioration of the nut quality within 24 hours after falling from trees, says long time South Pacific nut entrepreneur, Charlot Longwah. The next season of nangai starts from September to December and Mr Longwah revealed just last month Kava Store embarked and completed a research on how the use of a solar food dryer can rewrite the production of nangai in the Pacific, the first in the Pacific to obtain a solar semi dry product to value add for domestic market and the potential to gradually value-add from Vt40 per kilo to Vt1,000 a kilo to Vt3,000 and Vt6,000 per kilo for Japanese, Australia and New Caledonia customers.
“It will be a bottom up approach or under the nangai tree or plantation,” he said. “The existing villages in Vanuatu have over 200 sites from 100 to over 1,000 nangae trees, existing mostly in the remote areas. “By minimising oxidation the first 24 hours after the nut falls from the tree to reduce moving the volume in Nuts In Shells(NIS) with solar food dryer contributed to less 90% of total weight, contributing 75% reducing electricity costs to the factory,90% less costs of air/sea freight and land transportation. “Farmers end up with a super semi product,” Longwah said. But he pointed out farmers need extensive training by cracking nuts, removal from the testa with blanched kernel and directly placing it in solar food dryer to dry.