PAPUA New Guinea financial institution Bank South Pacific (BSP) has been busy giving back to the community, delivering upgrades to the National Agriculture Research Institute’s (NARI) facilities and improving the quality of sporting venues.

These latest projects are part of BSP’s promise to deliver 37 worthy community projects in education, health, environment and sports in 2014.

Thanks to BSP, the NARI will soon be able to conduct its seedling research in a more comfortable environment, with the bank’s Rabaul & Kokopo branches combing again this year to renovate NARI’s Kerevat facility.

“This will see a considerable improvement to the facility’s nursery and greenhouse,” BSP said.

In the coming weeks, staff from BSP Kokopo and Rabaul will assist contractors to fix the greenhouse structure, which houses crop seedlings that are used for research.

Established in 1928, the NARI Kerevat station was one of the first nurseries established in the Southern Hemisphere that played a significant role in the research of coconuts, cocoa, oil palm, rubber and coffee, and providing support to the agriculture sector in PNG.

The nursery’s key roles include research and development, training and supplying seedlings.

“It is hoped that through the renovation of this facility, the morale of both staff and students will increase dramatically and more focused towards their research programs,” BSP said.

Separately, BSP plans to improve the playing surface of the Murray Barracks basketball and volleyball courts.

Through the Community Projects initiative, staff from BSP First will soon be renovating the court’s surface, as well as installing new hoops and baskets.

BSP First is the first business unit to undertake a community project this year, with other business units within the bank to also undertake similar projects in the coming months.

“As PNG prepares to host the Pacific Games in 2015, most sporting venues are undergoing construction phase in upgrading the facilities – thus the different sporting codes have been tasked to look for alternate venues to host their games,” BSP said.

“Murray Barracks is one of such venues. This support from BSP will ensure that the sport of basketball can have an alternate venue for training in the lead up to the 2015 Games.”

Murray Barracks was established in the pre-Independence era in 1964. The sporting facilities with regards to the basketball and volleyball courts were built around the early 1970s.