Enhancing private sector-led development of the canarium industry in PNG


Nuts have huge potential to improve the livelihood of the rural poor in developing countries and meet the Millennium Development Goal to eradicate poverty and hunger. Nuts have excellent nutritional value, can be stored for long periods and can be sold for cash, processed and exported to distant markets. Canarium indicum is an agroforestry tree in Eastern Indonesia and the Pacific that produces edible nuts and has been the focus of efforts by donor agencies to commercialize the industry in PNG and the Pacific. In PNG, approximately 250,000 elite trees have been produced with various donor funding and distributed to smallholders and cocoa plantations over the past four years. At present there is no commercial market or processing factory for these nuts. Significant volumes are expected to be produced by these trees with volumes steadily increasing in the next 10 years.

This project seeks to expand markets and processing of canarium nuts in East New Britain, by strengthening private sector capacity and engagement using nuts from existing trees. Women conduct the majority of canarium nut growing and trading activities, including: nut cultivation, harvesting, processing and selling. Research-for-development projects funded by The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) have contributed to the development of appropriate technologies for value adding and there is a pilot nut processing facility at NARI that is only utilised on an ad-hoc basis. This project will take a whole of value-chain approach, and offer a range of interventions such as market research, technical advice, capacity building, business mentoring and access to infrastructure for both private and public sector stakeholders. The private sector will be targeted at 3 different scales: smallholder and small scale entrepreneurs, SMEs, and large scale processors.

This is one of 5 projects in the Transformative Agriculture and Enterprise Development (TADEP) program which aims to foster private sector led development in agriculture, increase agricultural productive capacity and improve access to markets for farmers in Papua New Guinea and Bougainville, particularly women farmers. This project focuses on expanding markets and processing of canarium products by the private sector, linking with other TADEP Projects, and collaborating with government and non-government agencies.

Project objectives

The objectives of this project are to:

  • Assess the needs of the private sector to participate in the canarium industry
  • Develop and undertake research-based interventions that address the needs of the private sector including smallholders, small scale entrepreneurs (especially women) SMEs, and large scale processors 
  • Develop an appropriate commercial model for a medium scale value adding factory for the canarium industry
  • Create a model for public- private partnerships in the canarium industry in PNG

Project outcomes

Video: Newly Established Galip Nut Company Launch Product.

A newly established Galip Nut Company in East New Britain Province has launched its products. The Galip Nut Company is a joint research development between the National Agricultural Research Institute, University of the Sunshine Coast, the University of Adelaide and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

Project partners

Collaborating institutions:


Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR project FST/2014/067) 2016-2019


GFAR researchers involved in this project:

Tagged in Projects:Food policy, Active projects