Case study: Ramu Agri Industries

Welcome,

Sugar, beef and oil palm are the three platforms on which Papua New Guinea agricultural company, Ramu Agri Industries (RAI) is based. Expansion is planned for all three, following the company’s September 2008 acquisition by New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL).

Ramu Agri Industries’ General Manager Jamie Graham says RAI’s broad strategy is to ‘continue to produce sugar for the country’s needs, expand and develop oil palm, and intensify the beef enterprise.’

In a market where per capita sugar consumption was an estimated 6.8kg in 2009, Ramu Sugar is one of PNG’s most recognised brands. Global firm Booker Tate is now managing operations for Ramu Sugar in Madang Province, from planting through to packaging, which has streamlined the business.

Jamie Graham expects growth of sugar production to be incremental, as previous to acquisition there was insufficient capital investment in machinery and crop maintenance: ‘In the last three-to-four years, Booker Tate has been focusing on improving the age profile of the cane and working on getting the yield up. That is the strategy there.’

Unlike sugar, palm oil is a comparatively new product for RAI, but new owner NBPOL has operations in five areas of PNG, the Solomon Islands, and a new refinery in Liverpool in the United Kingdom.

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Graham says planting of palm oil has increased from 7,000 hectares when NBPOL took over in 2008, to just over 10,000 hectares in 2010. He says there are plans to expand plantations and operations at the local palm oil mill. ‘It’s currently running at 30–35 tonnes an hour,’ Graham says. ‘Next year we want to get that to 45 tonnes an hour.’ At the end of 2010 palm oil was US$1,200 a tonne—approaching a 10-year high. ‘Demand is far outstripping supply, ‘says Graham. ‘Our strategy is to produce sustainable, traceable palm oil—which we are doing in West New Britain and Ramu—where both operations are certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).’

Given about 55% of beef consumed in PNG is currently imported, Graham says there’s also great potential in the company’s beef operations. RAI produces high quality supermarket beef products for the top end of the market. The focus is on improving pastures, improving the amount of water available to the animals with the purchase of a deep drilling rig, and eventually moving to smaller pastures. ‘We have commenced a program where we plan to improve 500 hectares a year, which is quite ambitious. We are working on improving the breed by bringing in bulls from the West New Britain operation. We have an ambitious artificial insemination program,’ Graham says. The company is also looking at embryo transfers once quarantine protocols are finalised.

This article first published in Business Advantage PNG 2011/2012

Comments

  1. Can anyone up date me the RAIL Operation Strategy please.

  2. Glennis Agorofa says

    As far as I can see, Ramu Agri-Industries is proceeding well with its successful business strategies implemented.
    Sticking to my point here, please could I have someone to provide me the Sales Strategy of the company of any of its products.

    Thank you.

  3. Giwe Paul says

    hi,can someone supply me information on how ramu sugar operates with its buyers and to the finish products..

  4. Can a person who works at ramu sugar explain how the ramu sugar operates..

  5. Damians says

    I love eating Ramu beef thus wish to buy either a bull or cartons to mumu. I m serious about this. Please send me your contacts or price list accordingly. Damians Aeno- Goroka Syntax school.

  6. Hi, can someone sent email address for Ramu Oil Palm and information about how does the company operating.

    Thank you .
    Salome P.

  7. Bonita Amepou says

    Hi,
    I would really like to have an email address or contact numbers for the international school.

  8. Marlene Dee says

    Just wondered if Ramu International school is still operating

  9. Marlene Dee says

    I need the address, email and phone numbers for Ramu International school please

  10. Hi there my name is Grayson Ieme. I am amazed at how far our country is benefiting from the production of our sugar back here in the ramu valley of the Morobean Province.
    It is an an excellent duty of the individual who has a vital role and responsibility in utilizing their time to inform the public on the current issues and news, in the production and process of our sugar industry. Keep up the good work guys. Please, kindly continue to maintain this ad we need to keep in touch and know what is happening.

    Cheers?
    Grayson Ieme.
    Port Moresby.

  11. Milton Milary says

    Hi, I am a grade 10 student at Bugandi secondary school. I have a project assignment on agricultural enterprises operating in PNG; I have chosen Ramu Agri ltd as my project. If possible, could you please email me brief information of the following points;
    -brief history
    -production process of sugar or other products
    -Economic activity(benefits of the industry to the community)
    -ecological concerns
    -environmental sustainabilities

    Your help will be highly appreciated. Please reply to this email address limixwalsh523@gmail.com.

    Thank you,
    Milton Milary (student).

  12. supply information on operation of ramu sugar industry at ramu valley in madang province

  13. Hi, can someone supply me information on when Ramu Sugar Ltd started it’s operations at Ramu valley, PNG.

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