SDP is committed to creating livelihoods in the cash economy for the people of Western Province. The best way of doing this on a sustainable basis is by developing commercially viable business ventures. The project is expected to create direct employment opportunities for some 270 employees as well as 500 smallholders who will farm their own land as part of the integrated business system.
SDP’s Daru Hatchery is being integrated into the new venture. It was initially set up in 2009 to restock the river system in the province and has been undergoing major renovations since last year. Land has been cleared, and new buildings are currently under construction, to make way for this project.
Selma Pamolak, SDP Operations Manager, has been on the ground in Daru supervising these efforts and working closely with the IAI team to ensure all the work is going ahead as planned.
“So far, work on this project has been progressing well with IAI having visited all sites last year, and all planning and purchasing of materials for the Daru project completed,” she said.
“This week, we are releasing the fish back into the wild so that the hatchery can be dried up and prepared for the new development to take place.”
Selma, who has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Biology from UPNG and a Masters of Science (Fisheries Biology & Management) from James Cook University in Australia will be seconded to IAI and become part of the management team running the joint venture. In this new role, she will be coached and mentored and receive further overseas training in commercial aquaculture production.
This exciting new industry will boost the economy in an area where income-earning opportunities are very limited.
“It will generate export earnings and provide a reliable extra food source in Western Province. In summary, this initiative is going to make a very valuable contribution towards improving the quality of life in the area.”