The National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is taking a whole value chain approach to developing an agricultural industry of an indigenous nut commonly called galip from the tree Canarium indicum by focusing on gaining a better understanding of the opportunities for private sector participation. With over 20 years research and development work on galip nut, NARI is working closely with the Galip Nut Company (GNC), to operate a medium scale galip processing facility and engage in the promotion of galip as a potential future industry for PNG. The GNC is a virtual research entity established in 2014 by the Institute to explore opportunities for private sector participation to develop the galip nut industry. The project is based out of NARI’s Island Regional Centre at Keravat, East New Britain Province.
The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) has been very generous in its steadfast support to NARI with over 20 years of research partnerships with several Australian universities to develop an alternative cash crop for PNG.
Apart from PNG, galip is also indigenous to Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the West Papua region. It has been cultivated for thousands of years and is important in the diet of the indigenous people in lowland areas. It is an excellent agro-forestry species and the nuts have high nutritional value, is organically grown and harvested in a sustainable manner where the rainforests and environment is conserved.
GNC’s current business operations model is tailored to engage local growers from East New Britain to supply nuts to the Keravat facility for processing. Processing of nuts takes almost two weeks that involves de-pulping, drying and the cracking of kernel. Presently GNC has three product variants: roasted, peeled and natural. These come in different sizes and mainly targeting the food and catering market. City Pharmacy Group is currently the sole distributor of the products and is sold in Port Moresby and Kokopo only. GNC hopes to increase production to other provinces in the New Guinea Islands region as well as the mainland PNG and at the same time establish its niche market both in PNG, in the region and globally. This prospect has a bright future judging from the way the roasted galip nuts were snatched up at the recent World Expo in Dubai.