Enhancing private sector-led development of the Canarium nut industry in Papua New Guinea

Project code
AUD 3,569,080
Research program manager
Dr Nora Devoe
Project leader
Professor Helen Wallace
Commissioned organisation
University of the Sunshine Coast
JUN 2015
DEC 2019
Project status
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This project, a private sector-led development of the canarium (galip) nut industry in Papua New Guinea (PNG), is expanding markets and strengthening capacity amongst smallholder and small-scale entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large-scale processors.

Taking a whole value-chain approach, the project will create a model for public-private partnerships in the canarium industry in PNG.  It will also introduce 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 galip nut is an agroforestry tree that produces edible nuts. In PNG, approximately 250,000 of these elite trees have been produced and distributed to smallholders and cocoa plantations. The nuts are highly nutritious and can be stored for long periods, sold for cash, processed and exported to distant markets. Women are involved in most of the nut activities, from nut cultivation and harvesting to processing and selling.

Project outcomes

  • Almost tripling of the supply of nuts sold by smallholder farmers. Our research indicated that it would be more cost effective to purchase the nuts at the factory. This new buying model massively increased supply and encouraged local entrepreneurs to hire trucks and buy from their local district and deliver to the factory. 
  • A fourfold increase in galip processing capacity at the pilot factory. A high throughput factory cracking and processing line was installed to increase galip processing capacity of the factory. A new de-pulper was developed by NARI staffed using a modified juicing machine. 
  • A range of new products were developed and launched in East New Britain and Port Moresby. Three main products with new packaging were developed for formal markets in East New Britain and POM including natural, roasted and peeled products. 
  • Two private sector players have partnered with the project team. These are the Canarium Nut Co who is partnering with the project team to process canarium in East New Britain, and CPL who has agreed to act as a distributor for the project team for market testing trials.
Key partners
National Agricultural Research Institute
University of Adelaide
University of the Sunshine Coast
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact sheet FST/2014/099