PNG community enterprise seeks investment for spice export foray

A community business based in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea is calling the attention of investors to help it scale up exports of its pristine, natural spice products to world markets. 

A range of spices are already being packaged and sold.

Increased awareness of the benefits of spices like turmeric, ginger, chilli and garlic besides others, has boosted demand for good quality, organically grown spices around the world.

Papua New Guinea’s Highlands region, with its pristine environment, has been growing spices for years. On the back of growing demand, a prominent community group has come forward with an offer for investors to bring in funds to take their business global.

Growing spices is specific to regions with a certain kind of climate and is highly labour intensive. Papua New Guinea has both – the right kind of climate for growing spices and plentiful affordable labour.

Sakarias Ikio, Managing Director/Owner of the PNG Spice Industry Development Program says his organisation works with 200 smallholder farmers in the Eastern Highlands Province who cultivate a variety of spices including ginger, turmeric, cardamom, garlic and brown onion, among others.

The company already processes, bottles and sells products in the PNG market. It is now looking for investment to scale up the business to meet the growing demand in the global market.

According to a document that Mr Ikio has shared with Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand, the PNG Spice Industry Development Program is looking at a range of options for raising cash for funding its growth.

Cash raised will help fund farming of spices across nearly 8500 hectares in the province.

Turmeric roots fresh off the farms.

One option is equity participation by investors starting at just over a million New Zealand dollars. Another option is a contractual relationship to buy the produce at an agreed price for on-selling and distribution in export markets and the third option is for a straightforward commercial loan arrangement.

“This is an excellent project for a food sector investor to consider, especially in view of the exploding demand for whole and processed spices around the world,” Manuel Valdez, PTI NZ Chief Investment Officer told Pacific Periscope.

“The group has extensive experience and is already harvesting and packaging a range of spices for the domestic market. It can quite easily scale up for export with the right mix of investment and connections in overseas markets,” Mr Valdez said.

“There is an opportunity to leverage the strong demand in Europe coupled with the community nature of this enterprise and the pristine conditions that the spices are grown in the Highlands of PNG,” he added.

Mr Valdez said, more on this investment can be found on the PTI NZ investment and trade listing website

For more information email Manuel Valdez, PTI NZ Chief Investment Officer at

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