Mainland CEO calls for Papua New Guinea Land Bank register of landowners to develop crop planting

The CEO of Mainland Holdings wants a national register of landowners willing to lease their land or grow crops on their property. David Alcock has also outlined his company’s plans to boost feedstock for poultry and pigs, to reduce costs and save foreign exchange.

Mainland Holdings’ David Alcock

One of the biggest costs in PNG is imported raw materials. After reviewing the company’s operations, Mainland Holdings has begun planting sorghum and soy to replace imported feedstock for pigs and poultry.

‘Cropping is our newest and most exciting development,’ CEO David Alcock told the inaugural agricultural conference in Port Moresby last month.

In 2018, Mainland Holdings plans to grow 7500 tons of sorghum in the Markham Valley in Morobe Province, using company land and that of two or three small out-growers, who will lease their land at K120 per hectare for an initial 12 months.

‘There is a need to create a land bank register of landowners.’

Mainland Holdings is the largest producer of stock feed in PNG, producing 100,000 tons of finished stockfeed per annum, he said, made up of cereal (wheat or sorghum) and protein (soy or canola) crops. These reduce the need for imported grains and thus foreign exchange.

Land bank

Alcock said there was a need to create a land bank register of landowners throughout the country who were willing to lease their land or grow crops on their property.

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‘We’d like to identify suitable areas for cropping throughout all areas of PNG where landowner issues can currently make development problematic.’

‘The Grains Industry Association would collate information on the need for grains.’

He also called for tighter border security to protect poultry stock from disease and sharing of cropping data with the National Agricultural Research Institute. He suggested establishing a Grains Industry Association which would collate information on the need for grains, people who are growing it and where it can be grown.

Alcock also saw potential to export into Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations, as well as Asia, where bird flu and other diseases had taken their toll.

‘The company wants to involve landowners in leasing their land.’

‘The clean, pristine climate of PNG can’t be over-estimated,’ he said.

Leasing

Stock feed is used for poultry

In order to produce 100,000 tons of stockfeed in PNG each year, the company needs 63,000 tons of sorghum (approximate value K38 million) and 16,000 tons of soy (approximate value K21 million).

‘Our vision is to continue to be the leader in the PNG agribusiness sector, with extensive operations PNG-wide,’ said Alcock. ‘Our mission is to have net sales of K600 million in 2020.’

He added that in the three years to 2017, sales had gone up 36 per cent: from K257 million to K350 million.

The company wants to involve landowners in leasing their land to Mainland for between one and three years. In return, the company would develop their land at zero cost, offer farmer training techniques, and sell the sorghum or soy to Mainland at an agreed volume, value and price.

‘After the lease period, [they] can then choose to renew or farm the land themselves.

‘We believe it’s an opportunity to open the market to grains for large and small- to medium-sized businesses in PNG.’

Contracts

Alcock noted that the company has contracts with 260 poultry growers in Lae and Port Moresby.

‘These SMEs deliver 50 per cent of poultry that comes through our processing (system) each week and they earn K6.4 million per annum.’

There is ‘tremendous scope’ for large, medium and small growers to achieve similar volumes, he added.

During 2017, Mainland Holdings planted 60 hectares of sorghum and learned about rainfall patterns and pest control.

In February, 2018, it will plant a further 1500 hectares of sorghum, of which 800 hectares will be owned by ‘outgrowers’. Next November, it will plant another 1500 hectares of sorghum and a further 3000 hectares in February, 2019.

 

Comments

  1. charles Honale says:

    I am interested in this very poutry & piggery farming as it is a way forward for this industry in P.N.G and boost our export here & abroad. I am into chicken also engaged with TABLEBIRDS supplying over 3000 chicks, the customary land iam in located at Near Nabzab Lae, please kindly email me on this address charleshonale9@gmail.com for a necessary requirements…..cheers Charles Honale

  2. Bradley Ghunn says:

    I m very interested in the article and I’m already bit way forward readying a customary land the ILG and have looking forward to the IPA certification Certificate of compliance and the recommendation of the IRC and the and were looking out for Industries to assist in the piggery project and also has a contract agreement within the long run and construction phase Wafi Golpu Mine..and a Guarantee letter from the Wafi Golpu Mining Association.I have a full run piggery proposal plan,cashflow and the development plan to the project.The land has been redy with all ILG and recommendation to the land Titles..

  3. I truly believe in the land banking concept and we should assess it carefully and see if it can be one of the criterion capture in the loan or credit facility and financial institutions operating guidelines and procedures for consideration through the application processes and assessment for approval and loan granting to borrowers for agricultural SMEs.

  4. I like the idea however I want every stone in the process be turned so that at the end of the day under whatever situation, the land MUST still belong to the customary landowners.

  5. LoWen kali says:

    I have consulted a company that will turn about 120,000 hac to agriculture commodity estate , planting
    cash crops in general , we have form our village companies and ILGs and have registered our companies.
    The multi million Kina company wants to build the factory else which I generally disagreed .The CEO of the company then came back and said he wanted more land, which of cos ,I lease all the remaining land back to him,he has now opt to have our Govt Register his business entity & build the factory.
    But picture here is, we must lease on a 25 to 30 year lease back and make new lease agreements to get the maximum benefit of such projects.

  6. Edward Laki says:

    I am interested in this article. I come from Sepik Plains. My people are in the process to register their ILG. Please keep me posted.

  7. Allan Wawah says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    The partnership with landowners in having their land used in agriculture development is excellent. I am very supportive of that because most customary fertile land are not being disputed and not adding value to landowners’ livelihood.

    I have friends and families in Madang district who are interested in surrendering their land for Mainland Holdings Ltd’s lease. Please advise how and where I can directly consult for this landowner & Mainland Holding partnership.

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