New stocks of galip nut arrive in PNG supermarkets

15 January 2021
Galip Nut on supermarket shelf

Papua New Guinea and Australian researchers have redoubled their efforts to ensure a steady supply of the popular galip nut products, with new stocks now back on supermarket shelves in Port Moresby.

The city’s biggest retail company, City Pharmacy Limited (CPL) took delivery of new stocks over the Christmas holidays, with ongoing monthly supplies planned over the coming year.

The development of the galip nut (Canarium indicum) industry is supported through ongoing ACIAR research with the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI).

NARI Commercialisation Manager Scott Needham said there had been some challenges with production of galip in 2020, but efforts are now underway to use this research to increase production and provide insights to benefit the development of this new industry.

‘In the last five months, new strategies have been put in place to increase purchase and production of galip nut. The recovery of dried nut has been very low after all the processing and food safety steps have been undertaken and this is a challenge we are working to overcome.

Man and son weighing galip nuts
A local farmer and her son weigh their galip nuts at the NARI Galip Factory in Kerevat East New Britain. Farmers from surrounding areas are able to collect good quantity galip nuts, bring them to the factory and receive much-needed income from this new cash crop.

The project has increased the number of casual staff to about 53 with a combined salary of more than PGK 100,000 Kina (AUD 36, 682). Additional equipment has also been introduced to further increase production.

New buying points have been established and a contact database supported by awareness to also encourage farmers to sell their harvested galip nuts.

‘We are now working with a total of 1,437 farmer across 77 villages in East New Britain. There are also plans to purchase galip nuts from New Ireland, Manus, West New Britain and Bougainville, should this year’s trials prove successful,’ said Mr Needham.

Three men holding packets of galip nuts in a store
(L-R) Galip Nut Company Commercialisation Manager, Scott Needham, City Pharmacy Limited Managing Director, Sir Mahesh Patel and Galip Nut Company Business Marketing Officer, Whelance Mollo. CPL is the parent company of Port Moresby’s Stop Shop chain of shops, which recently took delivery of new stocks of Galip nut products.

ACIAR Forest Research Program Manager Dr Nora Devoe welcomed the progress to date. ‘This is a great achievement for the project, that is looking to increase production of the indigenous nut in PNG.

‘Working with our long-time partner NARI, the project aims to foster increased participation from the private sector in domestic and export markets for galip nuts,’ Dr Devoe said.

’This is also a win for local farmers. ‘We want local farmers to be able to participate at different levels of the galip nut value chain.

‘Already we’ve seen thousands of local farmers, many of them women, benefiting from selling galip nuts directly to the factory. There are also some women who are making products from galip nuts like cakes, biscuits and bread and selling at the markets,’ said Dr Devoe.

The ACIAR project is a partnership between NARI, Griffith University and the University of Adelaide.

The galip nut tree, has been cultivated in Melanesia for thousands of years. It is nutrient-rich and has been described as having a similar composition to macadamia nuts, with a milky smooth flavour when raw and nutty yet crisp texture when roasted. Consumer demand exceeded supply when the initial trials were commenced in 2018-19.