Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

New agriculture lab to boost Bougainville’s agri-business development

The opening of the new Bougainville Agricultural Commodity Regulatory Act (BACRA) laboratory will enable quality testing for locally produced agricultural commodities and is the first of its kind in the region.

 The K2.4 million laboratory and offices, funded by the Australian and New Zealand governments, marks an important milestone for the Autonomous Bougainville Government and Bougainville’s agricultural sector.

Speaking at the facility’s official opening, ABG Minister for Primary Industries, Hon. Geraldine Paul, said the BACRA facility will assist local farmers and buyers to understand more about the quality of their produce and to pinpoint those aspects of production that need improvement.

Initially, much of the lab’s work will focus on cocoa and copra but ultimately it is expected that a range of agricultural commodities will be tested, creating opportunities for improving quality and farmers’ incomes.

All data collected from the tests will be transmitted, recorded, and stored in the ABG Data Centre to help determine quality trends in commodity production, which will assist with targeted training and production techniques.

ABG Minister for Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Geraldine Paul, Australian High Commission Acting Minister Counsellor, Clayton Harrington (middle) and Chief Secretary to Government of PNG and NEC, Ivan Pomaleu, cutting the ribbon to mark the official opening of the BACRA Laboratory and office at Kubu in Buka.

“With the newly installed BACRA testing lab, local cocoa and copra growers, including subsistence farmers, can access information about their products. Having this lab here in Buka means farmers will have easier and quicker access to results that will assist them to improve the quality of their produce,” added Minister Paul.

Bougainville’s cocoa beans will be one of the first commodities to undergo testing at the BACRA lab. The lab will also test bean odour, smokiness, flavour and any insect damage. The test results will help determine whether local beans meet international standards for access to high-value markets. In turn, this will help raise the profile of Bougainville’s award-winning cocoa and fetch better prices for farmers.

Acting Minister Counsellor of the Australian High Commission, Clayton Harrington, joined ABG and PNG Government officials at the opening of the BACRA facility. Mr. Harrington said, “Australia is delighted to support the building of the BACRA facility, aimed at enhancing Bougainville’s agriculture sector.”

“Through the Bougainville Partnership, the Governments of Australia and New Zealand are supporting ABG and the PNG government priorities by providing technical capacity to enable monitoring of the quality of agriculture commodities, which in turn will promote economic growth for the region,” he said

In addition to a testing laboratory, the facility includes an Information Technology room, four office spaces, a reception area, a fully equipped conference room, a solar power system and standby generator, disability access to a carpark, a walkway and toilets, and loading and unloading space for product samples.


The newly opened Bougainville Agricultural Commodity Regulatory Act (BACRA) Facility at Kubu in Buka will contribute to the development of the agri-business sector in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

For further information, including access to related materials, please contact the Australian High Commission media team: +675 7090 0100