PAPUA NEW GUINEA LOOKS AT SERIOUS RICE EXPORTS WITHIN 20 YEARS

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (March 25, 2001 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Papua New Guinea might need 20 years to get a complete understanding of the right varieties of rice and to start exporting it seriously, Agriculture Secretary Utula Samana told growers.

He was speaking during the Trukai Industries Limited field day in Lae.

So far, rice trials in the country had made good progress and proven very successful. Mr. Samana said the time taken for rice production to reach that stage was not comparable to that for copra, cocoa and coffee.

"Coconut was tried and tested in the country over so many years, 50 years for coffee and cocoa for more than 60 years," the former Morobe premier, former minister and former diplomat said.

"It may be as long as 20 years before PNG has a complete understanding of the right varieties of rice. We are making good progress in rice trials and as far as rice is concerned, Trukai Industry will soon prove the question of it (rice) being viable."

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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