Trukai Industries gives PNG University of Technology K1 million for Agriculture Research

Trukai Industries gives PNG University of Technology K1 million for Agriculture Research

Trukai Industries gives PNG University of Technology K1 million for Agriculture Research

Trukai Industries Ltd (TIL) will fund the PNG University of Technology’s (PNG UoT) School of Agriculture with K1 million to support rice research by members of staff and scholarship for three students admitted to the Master of Science program. 

This funding is for over five years where installments of K200,000 will be paid annually to PNG UoT as part of the Rice Development Program. The Rice Development Program commenced in November 2022 when both TIL and PNG UoT signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

This is one of several milestones planned in this collaboration between TIL and PNGUoT School of Agriculture. The scholarship will cover tuition and stipends for the students. The students will be selected based on their degrees (with merit) in Agriculture Science, and each will be researching their topics of choice on either rice or maize. Research and development (R&D) studies conducted by faculty members will range from evaluating locally-bred breeder's lines, rice agronomy, insect pests, diseases, and livestock feed formulations.

PNG University of Technology Vice chancellor Dr Ora Renagi further noted the University’s partnership with Trukai over the years outlining the company’s investment.

“PNGUoT is focused on creating and strengthening partnerships with industries, and our collaboration with Trukai has grown from strength to strength over the years. Since 2012, TIL has funded more than 13 postgraduate students from the School of Agriculture which has generated new knowledge to provide solutions in rice farming. PNGUoT truly appreciates this support from Trukai in agriculture research for scientific and social solutions while increasing academic capacity. Trukai also currently sponsors the Smart Farmer Program in partnership with PNGUoT, which trains farmers in irrigated rice

farming who come from rural and semi - rural settings and agriculture institutions both from the private and public sectors,” said Dr Renagi.


“This program has boosted opportunities for communities to increase their income and livelihoods. PNGUoT participates as part of its third mission focusing on community outreach. The Smart Farmer Program is a success and is continuing for other interested rice farmers around the country. Thanks to Trukai industries,” he added.


Several farmer trainings run over the years included Wawin in Morobe in 2006, Sipi/Erap in Morobe in 2014, Kandrien in West New Britain in 2016, and Unitech Smart Farmer Program since January 2022 where four batches of more than 400 farmers have been trained. By 2025, we aim to train over a thousand farmers through the Smart Farmer Program. The School of Agriculture appreciates the unwavering support of TIL in our R&D efforts and the postgraduate student scholarships,” he added.

Trukai Industries CEO Alan Preston explained the confidence TIL has in their partnership with the PNG University of Technology and described his excitement about the investment.

“We are excited about this investment as it is a huge amount of money and the single biggest investment we’ve made in the last five years with any organization,” said Preston.

“Our partnership with PNG UoT demonstrates the trust we have in this institution and we couldn’t ask for a better quality partner that has their values and objectives aligned with us,” he added.

“The most significant impact of our partnership with the PNG University of Technology through the funding of scholarships and the Smart Farmer program, is the long term beneficial effect on individuals, their families, communities and the country through education, training and research and development,” said Preston.

Preston concluded, “Hand on heart we are very satisfied with Unitech and the way the organization runs itself. It’s a wonderful partner for Trukai and I hope we can do more things in the future.”

The partnership with the PNG University of Technology is a private – public partnership for the promotion of academic and professional cooperation and collaboration through rice research and development and training in furthering the advancement of learning, knowledge, science and technology, and professional development.

This partnership recognises the importance of establishing a collaborative relationship that fosters mutual understanding, shared responsibilities and commitment to working together for the development of not just rice farming but now ventures into key sectors of agriculture  in PNG.