One of the biggest agribusiness in the country is looking to reduce the costs of imported chicken feed by half by producing its own feed substitutes.
Marking the start of that effort, Lae based, Mainland Holdings harvested 6000 hectares of sorghum planted on their Sasiang Farm in the Markham Valley.
The harvest first of a series of sorghum plantings the company hopes to make over the next 10 years.
Chief Executive, David Alcock, says the company is confident that the expansion will go according to plan.
“If we can get the crops growing per ton, we believe we can save 50 percent of our costs.”
Like other companies, Mainland has also been struggling with the foreign exchange crisis. Its ability to muster enough foreign currency to pay for imports has been hampered by restrictions. But this has not dampened efforts to look at domestic solutions.
“What happened was, we have the choice to continue importing or to use our land to try to reduce the cost of operations.”
Despite the pinch of the foreign currency restrictions, Mainland Holdings has posted profits last year and this year. It is a far cry from the company’s position 10 years ago when its rescue needed a financial bailout from PNG superfund, Nasfund.
Back then, It took some rethinking by the board on the strategic direction of the company. Today, Chairman, William Lamur, says he is looking forward to bigger and better results.
“A lot of work has been done over the last seven years and more particularly over the last five years where we’ve done a full transformation of our business from a non performing entity to a very profitable agribusiness.”
Over the next five years, the mainland hopes to engage with local landowners to use their land to increase sorghum and soybean production.