Vanuatu nut specialist to lead Melanesian stakeholders meeting on indigenous nuts

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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.

Long Wah says, “The target is to develop a platform through this important workshop and through the engagement process, understand the different roles for key stakeholders to implement sophisticated nut equipment, materials, blanching, coating spraying, coloring, cooling, shakers, cutting, polishing, utilising revolving pans and fire mixers”.

These are familiar areas to the nut specialist, having studied and worked in the largest Nut Manufacturer in California, United States and largest Macadamia Nuts Factory in Hilo, Hawaii.

After PNG and Solomon Islands, plans are in the pipeline for Mr Long Wah to spend two months in Melbourne, Australia, to work on the adjustment of equipment to suit Melanesian nuts to enable the diversification of new products on nangae canarium, natapoa terminalia, navele barringtonia and also grow PNG’s okari kaernbachii nuts to supply world bakeries, pharmaceutical, health supplements, confectionary, board materials, perfumes, animal feed and many more.

Most importantly it is expected this will enable rural farmers take a bottom up approach through the utilisation of the solar crop dryer, farmers who will be trained to preserve and sell their nut products 365 days a year instead of possessing nuts which get rancid after three days.

This value adding technology in the world will assist farmers minimise oxidisation the first 24 hours after the nut harvesting or after the nut falls from trees.

To reduce moving the high volume of Nuts In Shells (NIS) s with solar crop dryers in place each nut season will enable in 90% reduction in air, sea and land transport cost and farmers will get a super-semi product.

With the implementation of this, the domestic market is projected to increase by tenfold and set to become the highest value added and best horticulture prospect of any Agriculture crops in Melanesia.

This technology is the brainchild of Vanuatu, the product of three (3) years research in solar crop dryers and so simple it can be utilised by farmers and households.

Housewives in particular can indulge in income generating ventures year after year with food security and preservation guaranteed.

Vanuatu nut specialist to lead Melanesian stakeholders meeting on indigenous nuts | Vanuatu Daily Post

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