Menyamya villager Eric John has registered an apple business and plans to develop an orchard on his land in Morobe.
John said he has seedlings in his nursery and has trees growing on his land.
His first seedlings came from an apple he bought in Lae in 2004 and he has since invested time and money on growing apples commercially.
“I have tried to seek assistance from local leaders but have received none since I started 10 years ago,” he said.
“I sell pigs to raise funds for pesticides and equipment for my nursery.
“I believe that we can grow apples like we grow coffee here in Papua New Guinea.”
John said he registered his business as HKVE Apple Farmers at the Investment Promotion Authority office in Lae on Monday.
HKVE stands for Hakwange, his village.
He has about 100 people from the village involved in the business.
“I give 10 to 20 young trees from my nursery to each member. We have agreed that half of the total trees that bear fruit belong to me and the others they keep,” he said.
Finding the money for pesticides was the major challenge, he said.
Pests have destroyed the apples and killed some trees.
The National Agriculture Research Institute has promised to help him with equipment for the nursery.
John has 10 mature trees from which he picks fruits to sell at the market in Menyamya and Lae.
He said he has two hectares of land ready for planting.