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Rice has increasingly become a staple in diets across the pacific, with much of the rice consumed imported and bought off the shelves in supermarkets. It is a low cost, easily stored grain which is seemingly more versatile, in comparison to the traditional root vegetables such as taro, banana, cassava and kau kau. Daw Farmers Cooperative of Bougainville have begun growing rice crops to support their communities.

Bougainville Copper Limited was proud to donate a Rice Mill worth K7,500 to the Dew Farmers Cooperative Society in support of their agricultural practises and business.

Established in 2020, the Dew Farmers was created with the aim to increase the capacity of primary industries and communities, to drive economic growth through sustainable means. The group consists of a collective made up of three wards in Kieta district’s North Nasioi Constituency of Dangua, East Apiatei and West Apiaetei.  Currently, their membership includes two hundred small holder farmers, whose core agricultural business includes cocoa, poultry, rice and vanilla production, cultivation, processing, and marketing.

The group approached Bougainville Copper as their farmers prepared for their third crop harvest, with a target production reaching 1 tonne of unmilled rice per month, by mid-2023. The donation of the mill is set to assist a population of approximately 3,700 people over the three wards, with a total of 875 households.

The Rice Mill was gratefully received by the Dew Farmers Cooperative Society and some of their stakeholders, as the mill will enable the farmers to effectively manage and produce their crop to translate to sales, or a sustainable food source for those involved.