THE Omuru Agricultural Research station is currently undergoing a major overhaul carried out by the Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd (CICL).
Omuru has been the home of Commercial Cocoa and Coconut Hybridization Program managed by the Cocoa Coconut Research Institute (CCI) until its recent transfer to the CICL.
CIC Acting Chief Executive Officer Charles Dambui explained that the transfer of Omuru to CIC is to develop the station to a Robusta coffee research facility.
“This transfer was initiated by NEC in 2014 supported by the Agriculture Minister Hon Tommy Tomscoll with the understanding from the DAL Secretary Dr Vele Pat Illa’ava to mass propagate Robusta Omuru 1 to distribute to farmers in the coastal region, “said Mr Dambui.
The facility is situated about 25 kilometres from Madang town in the locality of South Ambenob LLG of Madang district. Omuru sub station was established in the 1960s and numerous agricultural researches have been done at the facility, which the Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd (CICL) has been a part of, carrying out research and propagation of a high-yielding Robusta coffee variety named “Omuru 1”.
Repair and maintenance to date under phase 1 include a facelift to three staff houses, a new administration office and the installation of a 200 KVA generator to power the station.
CIC Property Officer Harry Onnise confirmed that phase two is currently underway with the construction of a new manager’s house and an additional staff house to be built from an existing old building once it is demolished.
While the station is undergoing this much needed makeover, the CICL applauds the support of the local MP Hon. Nixon Duban who has seen the plight of the locals by upgrading the 6 kilometre dirt road which leads up to the research station.
Road condition to the station has been in a bad state in the last couple of years until recently upgraded by the local MP. The 6 kilometre road serves a population of about 3000 plus people living in villages along the road leading up to the station. Since the new development last December, locals say they appreciate the gesture by their member as transportation of vegetables and cash crops such as cocoa and coconut has been a struggle before the construction. Villagers have to walk all the way to the main highway to catch a ride to town to access health and other services in town. “Rot taim em bin bagarap I hat turu long karim bag buai na kakao go long men rot tasol nau em I orait turu long kar I kam insait olgeta long peles”. These were the words of Meh Baye, a local from Omuru. (“Before the road was fixed, we had to walk the 6km road with our bags of betelnut and cocoa to the main highway to get on a public transport to town, it has been very difficult. We now travel with ease with our market produce as the PMV buses and trucks come right into the villages”).
Meantime the phase two of the station maintenance and repair exercise is progressing well whilst phase three will commence once all maintenance under phase two is completed.
CICL Acting Chief Scientist Dr Nelson Simbiken said that phase three will include setting up a central nursery for Robusta Omuru 1, facilitate farmer training for coastal farmers and mass propagation of Omuru 1.
The Station Manager’s house currently under construction.
The recently upgraded 6 kilometres road into the research station