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TAS Country : October 28th 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010 Tasmanian Country 11 News Pyrethrum pathway to PNG SUCCESS: Kud Sitango, right, inspects a pyrethrum trial site in Tasmania with Bill Casey, manager for planning and logistics with Botanical Resources Australia. JENNIFER CRAWLEY Interest in crop is growing TASMANIA and Papua New Guinea share a connection --- pyrethrum. Tasmania is the world's largest pyrethrum producer, growing 80 per cent of the global crop. Kud Sitango, from PNG, completed his post-graduate studies at the UTAS School of Agricultural Science to put his knowledge into action in the pyrethrum fields in New Guinea. Mr Sitango said pyrethrum was good for the subsistence farming and cropping system in the PNG highlands because planting materials were easy to find and to keep for continuous planting. ''It is easy to grow and to maintain on the same mound as the staple crop, which is sweet potato,'' he said. ''Women farmers find it easy to grow and it gives them regular cash a short period after planting, which is a great benefit to them and their children.'' Mr Sitango said farmer interest in pyrethrum in PNG was growing. He said more than 2000 farmers in the Enga province grow pyrethrum, and the trend is expanding to Chimbu and the Western Highlands provinces. Pyrethrum is an all-year-round crop in PNG's fertile high altitudes. Mr Sitango wants to improve PNG's crop by screening and selecting flower yield and pyrethrum clones, looking at seed qualities, methods of drying and storing flowers, cropping practices, nutrients and control of fungal disease problems. He wants to pass on growing information to farmers and train farmers and extension officers on better production practices. Mr Sitango is a recipient of an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research John Allwright Fellowship, named in honour of Tasmanian farmer John Allwright. Tasmanian pyrethrum company Botanical Resources Australia, the University of Tasmania School of Agricultural Science and the ACIAR have joined forces to plant more pyrethrum in PNG. ACIAR public affairs officer Mandy Gyles said pyrethrum was once a thriving industry in the highland of PNG with about 80,000 growers. ''It ground to a halt when the processing factory closed in 1995, and suffered from marketing problems when it reopened,'' Ms Gyles said. In 2006, PNG's Enga provincial government asked Tasmanian company BRA to help increase their pyrethrum crop. BRA buys the PNG crop and has re- commercialised the industry. Ms Gyles said the involvement of BRA and ACIAR had helped revitalise the country's industry. "Husqvarna's got what it takes" MM C ri er 28.0cc - 0.8kW - 4.4kg ro on $ 39* t l 24 rgo series awn owers i N W * Your choice of either a Free Trailer or Sunshade with purchase of LT series tractors. Free Trailer with selected Rider models: R13C, R16C, R18, R15TSAWD. Offer available from 1st September to 31st December 2010, and only at participating dealers. www.hus varna.com.au For your nearest S AR A Specialist Dealer 00 006 037 urnie pp Devonport obart c g ll p t Launceston c t & h Smithton S tht F t & G lverstone N th W t F t & G th l ct - F * rai er or un ha e F rai er va ue at $ 99 F unsha e va ue at $ 79
October 21st 2010
November 4th 2010