Cassava beer from SP Brewery could benefit PNG’s farmers – Pacific Beat – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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South Pacific Brewery wants to brew a new cassava-based beer, in a move that could be a boon for farmers in Papua New Guinea.


Source: Richard Ewart Pacific Beat

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South Pacific Brewery wants to brew a new cassava-based beer, in a move that could be a boon for farmers in Papua New Guinea.

SP wants to replace up to 30 per cent of the imported malted barley it currently uses with cassava starch, and it’s engaged small holder farmers in Morobe province to grow the crop for them.

SP Brewery’s managing director, Stan Joyce, says the company is making efforts to source more of their ingredients closer to home, and based on tests they’ve done, the taste is very similar despite the changes.

Media Release from SP Brewery

SP Brewery intends to pioneer the Cassava industry in Papua New Guinea by looking at the possible local sourcing of Cassava into its beer processing.

This was announced by SPB’s Managing Director Stan Joyce when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Agriculture and Livestock through their Department Secretary Dr Vele Pat Ila’ava recently.

“The Brewery has looked into how to source local starch, so we’ve engaged Dr Keith Galgal to work on this exciting project, identifying different cassava species in PNG that are fit for this purpose.”

Mr Joyce said cassava is a crop imminently suitable for our environment in PNG and may I also comment that is probably suitable for traditional farming technologies as well.

“Through the MOU with the Department of Agriculture & Livestock, we will develop a central cassava nursery at the Erap station in Morobe Province.”

“So the end game of this is, what could it all end up with?  We’d be engaging thousands of farmers throughout PNG in small scale projects, whereby they grow cassava and they sell that tubler plant to the starch factory and the Brewery would buy the starch required for beer from the starch factory,” said Mr Joyce.

Mr Joyce acknowledged the work of DAL and their vision with Minister Tomscoll’s vision in being able to work this far to put this MOU together which gives us access to the Erap plantation area outside of Lae. It allows us to build a nursery which will then give the seedlings to give to farmers to then grow.

“We look forward to that day, it certainly will be in a reasonable time frame we’ll be back here in the Brewery trying some samples of beer made from PNG grown cassava product,” said Mr Joyce.

Dr Ila’ava thanked SP Brewery for their high interest into agriculture and this signing was a clear reflection of the continued public private partnership the Government has with the private sector.

“On behalf of my Department and Minister Tommy Tomscoll, we thank SP Brewery for joining us on this journey, we look forward to the partnership and I’m sure it’s going to be a very fruitful and very exciting one for all of us,” said Dr Ila’ava.

He said 85 per cent of the population depends directly from agriculture for food and income, so that amounts to something like 6 million today.

“At the growth rate of 2.5 % to 3% by 2050 the population will be about 22 to 23 million. Agriculture will still be very prominent and very significant in the lives of our people,” said Dr Ila’ava.

The nursery at Erap station will become the source of cassava cuttings for distribution to small holder farmers in Markham, Huon Gulf and Nawaeb districts in Morobe.

 

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