Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has pointed Papua New Guinea small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to agriculture as a space that they can move into.
He said this when addressing the 3rd SME Business Breakfast at APEC Haus in Port Moresby on Friday (June 5th 2021) which also marked the end of SME Week.
PM Marape said agriculture could supply domestic needs as well as export to other countries.
He said PNG was the closest Pacific country to Asia, including Indonesia right next door, which had a population of 260 million.
PM Marape said the majority of Indonesians were Muslims who ate beef.
“I wonder why the grasslands of Sepik and Fly are doing nothing,” he said.
“Those are places where we can raise beef (cattle) and supply to the 260 million Muslims next door.”
PM Marape said the next 100 years would be the “Asian century” as the increasing population there needed more food, water and energy.
He said PNG could follow the track of New Zealand in becoming a specialist food producer to supply the population of Asia.
PM Marape pointed out the case of Fiji water, which was now sold around the world, and added PNG could do similar through organic food.
“Organic food supply to niche markets in Asia can be a forte, can be a specialist area, going into the future,” he said.
“Government will look at those concepts and work with the SME Corporation, for those who want to be innovative in the space of SMEs, whether in export-based businesses or domestic supply.”