Israeli expertise boosting Papua New Guinea’s fresh food independence


An Israeli-backed and developed fruit and vegetable farm is delivering international standard produce for the domestic market in Papua New Guinea, reports Ben Creagh.

InnovativeAgro_webIsraeli company Innovative Agro Industry is demonstrating the potential of Papua New Guinea’s agro-sector through the development of a large-scale fruit and vegetable farm near Port Moresby.

Innovative Agro, part of the LR Group which specialises in the development, implementation and operation of agro-industrial projects in emerging markets, identified the opportunity to develop a commercial farm to help ease PNG’s reliance on high-cost food imports.


The 11-hectare farm, developed in partnership with the Jesus Christ Halfway House and Western Highlands Development Corporation at Nine Mile since October 2012, is aiming to establish itself as a leading player in the PNG fruit and vegetable market by providing consumers with high quality, import replacement produce.

While the K28 million operation was officially opened in January this year, seed planting started in September 2013, and the farm is now producing large quantities of affordable fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicums and lettuces.

Fast development

Eran Gal-Or, Innovative Agro’s PNG Country Manager, told Business Advantage PNG the company was focused on rapidly advancing the project to deliver its vision of a technological-advanced operation that would improve food independency in the country.

‘We believe the market is large enough for further competition and that PNG has the potential to create more food independency’

Story continues after advertisment...

‘Our ambition was not just to become a local producer of fresh fruit and vegetables for the domestic market, but to show that a project of this scale can be developed in PNG very quickly,’ Gal-Or said.

‘This is as big a statement as actually producing fruit and vegetables because this is a unique project for Port Moresby. Firstly, from the perspective of it being a commercial agricultural project, and then because of the level of technology the farm incorporates.’

Hi-tech farming

InnovativeAgro_web2The farm uses a direct irrigation system, where the fruit and vegetables are grown in materials which feed the roots system with the necessary nutrients in a controlled environment.

At full capacity, Innovative Agro expects the farm will produce up to 15 tonnes of fruit and vegetables each week from its six hectare production area.

The produce will be sold in supermarkets throughout Port Moresby, providing consumers with international standard fruit and vegetables, which are fresher than what is generally imported from countries like Australia.

The business employs around 140 workers, mostly from the Nine Mile and Bomana areas, making it one of the largest employers in this area of Port Moresby.

During the construction phase, Innovative Agro used local contractors to support its specialist engineers during civil works.

Competitive  plans

Gal-Or, who has 12 years’ experience with Innovative Agro, including the past two years in PNG, says the farm had opened up locals to the potential of PNG’s agro-sector and there are already plans for future projects.

‘We believe the market is large enough for further competition and that PNG has the potential to create more food independency,’ Gal-Or said.

‘The benefits extend to a community level and it has been a significant achievement for us to provide work opportunities to many people who may not have obtained formal employment otherwise.’

Ben Creagh is a freelance business journalist.


  1. Very interesting article, as for me i have a lot of tumeric ginger at my village so i would like to request your group to assist me with my product where can market this it fresh food.
    Here is my email; please contact me.

  2. Victor Leo says

    Hi Ben
    A very nice article, however most parts of PNG are struggling for developments like these even though we have vast land and natural resources.

    Wish this group could extend its agricultural endeavors into my area as well.
    Anyway thanks for the article.

  3. Hi Ben, I haven’t actually been inside the farm but have seen from the outside. It is quite big and the produce I have seen in supermarkets like waterfront etc.. I recently registered a ships Chandler business and will definitely get all my fresh produce from there, I am a local business owner and I want to promote local fresh produce to the international shipping community that visits our shore. In this way, I can proudly inform my clients that these products are PNG grown and the quality is the best in the world. Thank you for creating a pathway supporting local businesses and keeping more revenue in country. God bless each and everyone that has made this project a success and we pray that this is not the end but for all of us to come up with more innovative ways and ideas to improve our living standards.

  4. S.ToVaira says

    Dear Ben, your story is spot on. I am a proud consumer of fruits and vegetables grown at that 9 mile farm and I must say they are of very high quality. One other thing that draws my attention to the 9 mile produces is that they are products of Israeli technology and as a christian I strongly feel tat I have a duty to stand with Israel all the time. Having been to israel myself and seeing their farms in arid land I am convinced beyond doubt that Israel technology is what PNG needs if it is to be self-sufficient in its food production.
    Thank you for the Report.
    May GOD bless you and bless Israel and PNG.
    Port Moresby

  5. Mauro Okrupa says

    Dear Ben Creagh,
    Hello and good afternoon.

    As a proud Papua New Guineans, am very proud to see such a milestone development in my country. As a developing nation we have a lot of gaps for improvements in our socioeconomic environment. I am pleased with the Innovative Agro Industry setting here which are here to stay.
    Its totally not about competing with local industry as pressurized by self motivated local businessmen and women. Its about feeding the global population on a sustainable manner as well as employment and wealth creation .

    May God Bless

    Mr. Mauro Okrupa
    Bachelor of Tropical Agriculture Science
    PNG University of Natural Resources and Envirtonment

Leave a Reply