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Milne Bay Province What to see in Alotau and surrounding areas in Milne Bay Province

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Old 22-01-2005, 04:13 PM
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Quality vanilla for Minle Bay

Governor for Milne Bay, Tim Neville is committed to bringing experts from the world’s vanilla capital, Madagascar to help train vanilla farmers in PNG in processing of the food flavouring.

Mr Neville has warned his people not to make the same mistake that the Sepik people did with vanilla processing that resulted in the decrease in vanilla prices.

Mr Neville said this to members of newly formed Tauyo Agro-Farmers Association in Sebulu village near Esa’ala station, Normanby Island on Saturday.

Governor Neville told Milne Bay farmers to grow various spices and to set the example on the processing of these spices. He said he will be distributing seeds of spices including vanilla as well as rice which he knows can grow well in PNG.

He told the 100-plus farmers, their families and observers that some Sepik farmers, in their haste to process vanilla to make quick money, had used corrugated iron sheets to dry the vanilla beans. This has resulted in the beans being blackened too fast.

“However the problem is that the length of time it takes to ship the vanilla and then the storage time before it is finally processed and packaged for shops have exposed this flaw in primary processing as mould is found growing on the vanilla,” Mr Neville said.

“Aside from the recovery of Madagascar in growing vanilla, this (flaw) is one reason the vanilla price dropped from K650 per kilogram to the less than K160 per kilogram it is now.”

He gave them a K10,000 cheque which will help the 105 farmers start up as well as help other farmers begin by providing cuttings at K3 a metre.

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