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By Baeau Tai

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 4) -
International vanilla buyer and processor Spice Tech Limited wants to help
develop Papua New Guinea’s vanilla industry through farmers' training.

Owned by Eurovanille Limited of France, the company started its
operations in Madang in 2001 and has long experience with vanilla. It
contributes to improving PNG's reputation in the vanilla world market by
providing advice on quality processing to growers.

The company has set up an extension division that conducts
training courses at its own cost and so far it has trained farmers in Lae, East
Sepik, Goroka, Kutubu, Kikori in Gulf province, Rabaul and Manus.

At the same time, the company provides training materials in the
form of handouts to growers.

A spokesman from Spice Tech said under the training course, they
teach growers about field management and the process of vanilla beans.

He explained that the process of vanilla beans starts when
farmers harvest the beans when they are ripe.

The beans normally referred to as green beans are then placed
under the sun for 'sun drying' after two or three weeks. From the sun drying
process, the beans are placed in the shed for "shed drying" or

"This takes about three to six months to develop its
aroma," said the spokesman, adding that there is no chemical added in the
curing process to give the aroma but simply following the correct process and
the right timing results in a quality bean.

"Because this is a new industry, our concern is the quality
of our vanilla," the spokesman said, and realizing that there is lack of
training for farmers, they decided to provide training for farmers.

He said with many provinces now getting into the vanilla
business and an increase in vanilla exporters, the price of vanilla per kilogram
has 'escalated' over the past months from K250 to K600 per kg.

"The important thing is that if we can keep the price high,
then we must have a good quality to maintain out reputation in the international
market," he said.

The company has its agencies in Wewak, Rabaul and Lae apart from
its headquarters in Madang and employs 21 workers.

It mainly deals with buying and exporting vanilla and providing
training for farmers.

Every month the company exports an average 500-700 kg of vanilla
to France and the United States.  

September 5, 2003

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I would be happy to learn more Institute this French company who is providing technical advice to vanilla farmers in PNG. Please give me more information of your company. Thank you... Rick.

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