PNG Business News - June 07, 2021
K1.2 Million Set Aside For Cocoa Development
In Bogia, Madang Province, K1.2 million has been set aside for cocoa development. This money came from the PNG Cocoa Board, which contributed K600,000, and the Bogia District Development Authority, which contributed another K600,000. Boto Gaupu, the chief executive officer of the Cocoa Board, stated that they are willing to collaborate with the Bogia district to grow coconut and cocoa. “PNG Cocoa Board is serving the same clients and as to the district by working with the farmers at the village level and revive cocoa which was one of the commodities grown in the area for many years,” he said. “We are committing K600,000 to the district of which K100,000 will be initially presented for the purpose of reviving cocoa and other cash crops in Bogia, Madang Province.” The district is also dedicated to working with any government and non-government organizations, according to Bogia MP Robert Naguri, and the cocoa board's involvement will go a long way. He claims that this will assist more than 100,000 people in the provinces of Bogia and Madang. “We are also committing K100,000 through the district development authority and that will help support the initial work to be carried out in the district.” He stated that this is the start of a new path for Bogia, and that the resuscitation of cash crops such as coconut and cocoa in the area will pave the way for socio-economic growth. Reference: Tom, Patrick. Post-Courier (2 June 2021). “K1.2 Million For Bogia Cocoa Development.”
PNG Business News - June 07, 2021
Government Continues Delivery of Fresh Produce Under MoA
The government has agreed to continue delivering fresh food and vegetables from Lae to Port Moresby under a memorandum of understanding with Bismarck Maritime Ltd. Commerce and Industry Minister Sam Basil and Bismarck Maritime managing director Hamish Sharp signed the agreement. It comprises a subsidy for fresh food and vegetables to be transported by sea to Oro Bay, Alotau ports, and Port Moresby. During the early days of the Covid-19, the Department of National Planning and Monitoring established a transportation freight subsidy to maintain food security. It was a success thanks to the help of people in the Highlands and Morobe who grew the veggies, as well as purchasers, land transport providers, vegetable wholesalers and shops, and customers in the National Capital District. “I am advised that the K6 million expended resulted in an economic impact in excess of K50 million,” Basil said. He told the department's interim secretary, Joseph Vutliu, to find money to keep the freight subsidy program going. The possibility to provide maritime transportation "on subjects connected to food security and nutrition" was welcomed by Bismarck Maritime Ltd managing director Hamish Sharp. “The fact that this is resulting in cash in the pockets for many players along the supply chain is very welcome,” he said. “We naturally think this is a very good initiative and would be glad to continue the fresh produce and vegetables sea transportation. “We will be pleased to include and involve Northern and Alotau in this new arrangement as both are natural ports to stop en route from Lae to Port Moresby and back.” Reference: The National (1 June 2021). “Govt, firm seal deal to transport goods”.
PNG Business News - June 01, 2021
Morobe Government to Partner with National Airport Corporation for Agriculture Initiative
Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu. Photo Credit: PNG Bulletin 2021 The Morobe Government will cooperate with the National Airport Corporation to begin the Aviation in Agriculture and Fisheries initiative on June 18, 2021. A memorandum of agreement will be inked, according to Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu, to obtain a part of the money collected at Nadzab. “The national government will concentrate on passengers but the Morobe government will concentrate on the huge planes that will come from overseas by filling them with agricultural produce. “Morobe produce such as taro, yam, vegetables and fish must fill the cargo section of the plane to be sent to overseas countries that do not have land to grow their food,” he said. He stated that Morobe must be involved in the construction of Nadzab Airport to international standards. “The airport authority must include two local level governments (Wampar and Erap Wain LLGs), the Gabsongkec people, Morobe government, NAC and the National Government and others involved in the airline industry. I want a different government body to govern the Nadzab Airport and do it the right way so everybody will be part and parcel of the authority by partnering with each other and investing together,” Saonu said. Reference: The National (31 May 2021). “Morobe govt to partner National Airport Corporation for project”.
PNG Business News - May 03, 2021
Cocoa Price Support Programme will Boost Cocoa Production
According to PNG Cocoa Board chief executive officer Boto Gaupu, the government's cocoa price support program will boost cocoa production in Morobe. On behalf of Agriculture and Livestock Minister John Simon, he said this while launching the program in Munum village, Wampar local level government, Huon Gulf, Morobe. With the exception of Menyamya, Gaupu said K200,000 had been extended on cocoa price support in eight districts of Morobe. According to him, Morobe's total cocoa output is 4,500 tonnes, worth K30 million. He said that K19 million (K30 million) went directly into the pockets of farmers. “Over the last 10 to 15 years, it (cocoa production in Morobe) averaged 800 tonnes to 1,000 tonnes (annually),” he said. “I can tell you now that it has increased to 4,400 tonnes, which is equivalent to K30 million in export revenue. “Of this K30 million, K18 – K19 million goes into farmers in the districts. “Cocoa also generates other economic activities such as stores, PMVs and others, and also contributes goods and services tax to the Government.” Markham, according to Gaupu, is currently leading cocoa production in Morobe, accounting for half of the total production. “We (Morobe) are a new frontier (for cocoa) after East New Britain, Bougainville and East Sepik – which are currently leading production in the country,” he said. “I am confident that Morobe, with the support of all farmers, can go up to 10,000 tonnes – which will bring in more than K100 million into the province.” According to Gaupu, the Minister directed that price support recipients must be farmers in the villages. “We will not involve exporters (in price support),” he said. “Exporters are there to get the volume that we create and make their sales. “Benefits will go down directly to the villagers. “This is one thing that this Government has brought about.” Prime Minister James Marape was praised by Gaupu for establishing the price support scheme. “He (Marape) has said that he wanted to see results before he pumps in more money,” he said. “Sustainability or continuation of this programme depends on all of us. If we do not perform, we spoil our chance of more support for the price we receive.” He said that nothing stood in the way of Morobe growing its cocoa supply. “We, in Morobe, have a large landmass, all the accessibility and everything in the world,” Gaupu said. “Let us take this time and opportunity to go into agriculture, especially cocoa, to better our standard of living in the villages.”
PNG Business News - April 21, 2021
Locals Take on ‘Farming as a Business’
Farming as a business is making a huge transformation in the Gumine district of Chimbu province, located in the lush and fertile PNG Highlands. Local farmers are eagerly participating in a potato and bulb onion project that has picked up interest seeing more than ten model farms and three bulb onion nurseries established in the Gumine Local level government (LLG) area of the district, as part of the projects trial stages. In March local farmers delivered 7.7 tonnes (7, 700 kg) of fresh potatoes graded and and bagged for selling, both as seeds and for consumption. The harvest was delivered to the capital of Kundiawa, as residents looked on in awe at the truck loads of bagged potatoes, to the joy of Gumine MP Nick Kuman who had helped initiate the project. An initial agreement was signed between Gumine district and the Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) with a focus to farm potato and bulb onion as commercially significant crops for the district. FPDA wasted no time setting up an office and work progressed eagerly for all parties. By June 2021, Gumine is expected to provide its first full harvest of an estimated ten tonnes of potato and bulb onions to Kundiawa town. A consistently supply to Kundiawa and other areas will provide a steady source of income for farming families involved in the project. Project Technical Team Leader David Kaupa said the first model farms were established only in Gumine LLG with selection of 10 model sites for seed potato production and distribution and three model nurseries for bulb onion. He said a total of three tones (300kgs) of seed potato were distributed to the selected 10 model sites. “As per FPDA technical officers, production (of 7, 700 kg) was quite impressive at initial phase. The farmers have really seen and felt the positive impact potato has created in a very short period. All the people of Dirima-Yani want to engage in potato farming,” a delighted Kaupa said. He said for the very first time loads of potato left for Kundiawa on March 5, 2021, signifying a huge transformation in Gumine taking on farming as a business. Kaupa also revealed that bulb onion seedlings had been transplanted to the trial model sites and were growing with impressive results. Meanwhile, he said the other two LLGs of Digine and Kumai-Bomai will soon see roll out of a trial phase of the project. Kaupa also said FPDA’s presence in Gumine district has positively impacted the mindsets of many young men and women, who now see farming as the way forward for Gumine.
PNG Business News - April 21, 2021
Government Intervention Needed to Improve Coffee Production
LACK of immediate government intervention to address a dramatic drop in coffee exports will have serious consequences for producers and the PNG economy that is very much dependent on it. This is according to the release of a discussion paper by the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNGNRI) that uses data based on various factors affecting coffee production in the five leading coffee producers of the world compared to PNG. The study draws lessons and makes recommendations to guide policy makers, government and Industry on strategies to improve production, quality and revenue for farmers, government, producers and stakeholders. Titled ‘Strategies For Improving Coffee Production and Processing in Papua New Guinea: Lessons from the Top Five Coffee Producing Countries], it was researched and published by Carolyn A. Afolami and Eugene E. Ezebilo and released in March 2021. The data (used in the discussion) were analysed using descriptive statistics and a log-log Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression model. Of the top five (05) Coffee-producing countries, Brazil had the largest area of coffee field harvested and the highest quantity of coffee produced. This is larger than the area harvested in PNG by 54 times and quantity produced by 36 times. From 1998 to 2018, the coffee harvest area and quantity of coffee produced in PNG decreased by 33 percent and 28 percent respectively. Most of the coffee trees in PNG have passed their economic productive age. Coffee growers, especially smallholders, lacked access to extension services, and they find it difficult to access coffee processing facilities. OLS results revealed that an annual increase in the coffee harvest area increases the quantity of coffee produced. Coffee production in Vietnam and PNG are the most sensitive to changes in Arabica and Robusta coffee prices. Extension services provided by the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) to PNG coffee farmers have not increased coffee production per hectare (yield). If the intention is to make PNG one of the top coffee-producing countries, strong ‘political will’ is needed to invest in research, effective extension services, and upskilling of coffee growers in modern coffee production and processing techniques. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), coffee has been the second leading agricultural commodity, after oil palm (Department of Agriculture and Livestock [DAL], 2020). Coffee production provides opportunities for employment and foreign exchange earnings. Coffee contributed 27 percent of the total agricultural export from 2012 to 2017 and accounted for six (06) percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within the same period. It contributes to multiple sectors of PNG’s economy including transport, construction, manufacturing, retail and wholesale, insurance, and banking. The PNGNRI Discussion Paper (No. 184) cites a report by AECOM (2018) on the PNG coffee market study, that reported that exports had dropped to 934 60kg bags between 1998 and 2018 while coffee price on the international market has also been declining over time. It (PNGNRI discussion paper) implies that, given that the two components of coffee revenue (output and price) to the producers is declining, revenue would decline over time and have serious consequences for everyone that depends on it. If the intention is to make PNG one of the top coffee-producing countries, strong ‘political will’ is needed to invest in research, effective extension services, and upskilling of coffee growers in modern coffee production and processing techniques. This is apart from other factors like access to markets, which is now the focus of the new World Bank funded program PNG Agriculture Commercialization and Diversification (PACD) program that continues on from the recently exited and successfully completed Public Private Agriculture Partnerships (PPAP) program. In collaboration with the World Bank, the Government of PNG (GoPNG) implemented the PPAP as an initiative to make growing cash crops, like coffee, more attractive to farmers. The Project focuses on improving performance in coffee production (DAL, 2020). This contributes to the GoPNG’s commitment to increase the contribution of cash crops — including coffee — to the country’s economy as highlighted in the Medium-Term Development Plan III (Department of National Planning and Monitoring, 2018). PNG’s coffee industry provides one of the highest potentials for growth and gains within the agricultural sector and has the potential to support the growth of the economy. However, the quantity and quality of coffee produced in PNG continue to decline, which threatens many households who depend on coffee for their livelihoods. The decline also adversely impacts government revenue from the agricultural sector. Because coffee contributes immensely to PNG’s economy and the livelihoods of many households, it is pertinent we find strategies to address the problems associated with the production and processing of coffee in the country.
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PNG Business News - April 16, 2021
Oil Palm Industry Opposes New Tax
The oil palm industry has opposed the government's directive to levy a high tax on fertiliser, agriculture's most basic input because it will bring the industry out of business. Robert Nilkare, chairman of the PNG Palm Oil Producers Association and PNG country manager of New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL), said the oil palm industry was heavily dependent on fertiliser to preserve soil fertility. “Without it, production will decline and soil fertility will degrade,” he said. According to Nilkare, agriculture, which supports a significant number of smallholders and is one of the country's largest industries, would suffer greatly as a result of this. “This is particularly the case for PNG’s smallholder farmers whose palms are almost universally deficient in nutrients.” Both regulatory bodies, including the Department of Environment and Climate Change, received financial instruction from the Department of Finance on January 21. This was to put in place the current fees and charges that the government had authorised in gazette notice G673. The PNG government has now imposed a fee on all fertiliser imports, especially nitrogen-containing fertilisers, in addition to many other fee rises levied on companies and communities, such as petrol. “Decades of research has gone into this to find ways to increase fertiliser uptake by smallholders,” Nilkare said. “This new tax on fertiliser will immediately increase the cost of fertiliser to smallholders, this will reduce their usage and so reduce their production, income and livelihoods. “This is particularly the case in areas where increasing rural population is creating significant land pressure and so finding ways to improve production from existing farms is paramount.” Nilkare said that the experts who approached the government with the suggestion and rationale for a tax on nitrogen synthetic fertilizer had not done their homework and hence provided inadequate advice to the climate change and development authority (CCDA). “The justification is seriously flawed technically, clearly no agricultural expertise was involved, and there was no prior consultation with the agriculture sector,” he said. “In fact, the CCDA’s own awareness presentations stated that consultation over the synthetic fertiliser levy was with the chamber of mining and petroleum!” He said that the key reason for the agricultural fertiliser tax was to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but that the CCDA's own analyses had shown that deforestation and habitat destruction were the biggest drivers of GHG emissions. Just 30% of the estimated tax revenue will go to climate change assistance, according to Nilkare, implying that the proposed tax was for feeding the consolidated revenue. According to him, the oil palm industry is expected to pay the government K10 million a year from the current fertiliser levy, with smallholders paying K4 million as their share of the fertiliser tax. “This issue could have been better managed if there had been some consultation with the agriculture sector stakeholders before a tax on agriculture was introduced,” he said. The imposition of such taxes, according to Nilkare, undermines the government's argument that agriculture is the country's "backbone."
PNG Business News - April 12, 2021
Governments Struggle with Providing Facilities, Says Study
Governments in some coffee-producing countries have struggled to provide facilities that encourage the cultivation and processing of high-quality coffee. Strategies for improving coffee production and processing in Papua New Guinea: Lessons from the top five coffee-producing countries, a report by the PNG National Research Institute (NRI), highlighted the country's coffee production and processing and proposed development strategies based on lessons learned from the top five coffee-producing countries in the world. Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Papua New Guinea were among the six coffee-producing countries studied across four continents. The study's abstract can be found below. Introduction Coffee is the second most important agricultural crop in Papua New Guinea (PNG), after oil palm. Coffee processing produced jobs as well as foreign currency earnings. From 2012 to 2017, coffee accounted for 27% of total agricultural exports and 6% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). It helped PNG's economy in a variety of ways, including transportation, construction, manufacturing, retail and wholesale, insurance, and banking. Arabica is a coffee species that is widely grown in PNG, mostly in the Highlands between 700 and 2,050 meters above sea level. Robusta is grown in coastal areas of PNG at elevations of up to 550 meters above sea level. PNG produces high-quality, fine-flavour Arabica coffee, which is highly sought after by coffee drinkers. Coffee production in PNG, on the other hand, seems to be decreasing. Between 1998 and 2018, according to a survey by AECOM (2018) on PNG coffee market research, exports fell to 934 60kg bags. In the foreign market, the price of coffee has also been falling over time. The implication is that, since the two components of coffee revenue (output and price) to producers are decreasing, the revenue would decline over time, resulting in significant consequences for the producers and the PNG economy. Results of study In Papua New Guinea, the annual area of coffee fields cultivated ranges from 41,000 hectares in 2002 to 87,000 hectares in 1999. In PNG, the area of coffee fields cultivated decreased by 33% from 81,000 hectares in 1998 to 54,000 hectares in 2018. When compared to the smallest area of coffee field harvest among the top five nations, PNG's largest harvested area (87,000 hectares) is 71% less than the smallest harvested area (220,000 hectares). The amount of coffee beans processed has decreased by 28% from 81,000 tonnes in 1998 to 58,000 tonnes in 2018. It's worth noting that there was no data available for 2008. Over the course of the research, PNG's annual coffee production was lower than that of the top five coffee-producing countries. Vietnam had the most coffee harvested per hectare of the top five coffee-producing countries. It jumped from 1,875 kg/ha in 1998 to 2,612 kg/ha in 2018, a 39 percent rise. Brazil harvested 816 kilograms per hectare in 1998 and 1,906 kilograms per hectare in 2018, a 134 per cent rise. Findings from a literature review on key challenges to coffee production and processing in Papua New Guinea The following are some of the obstacles to coffee production and processing in PNG: INADEQUATE access to basic infrastructure and facilities – Smallholder farmers, especially those in rural areas, struggle to find facilities for coffee milling and storage. There were no decent roads for transporting agricultural supplies and goods to and from their coffee fields. FARM management activities – Most coffee trees have reached the end of their economic sustainable life cycle, resulting in a decrease in crop yield. Producers postpone or fail to perform required coffee husbandry activities such as daily pruning and the planting of shade trees. REDUCED YIELD AND Uneven PRODUCT QUALITY – The quality of coffee produced in PNG is deteriorating. INADEQUATE extension services – Coffee farmers, especially smallholders, need education on modern coffee production methods. They, on the other hand, often find it impossible to obtain services from extension agents. TECHNOLOGY – Modern technology can help coffee farmers increase productivity and increase the appeal of their commodity. Coffee farmers in PNG, on the other hand, often lack modern technologies, which limits their ability to reach their full potential in the coffee industry. CHANGE IN CROPPING Trend – Due to a drop in coffee market prices or problems with access to coffee processing facilities, some coffee farmers turn all or part of their coffee fields to other more cost-effective crops. The turn to other crops may also be due to labour shortages for essential farm tasks including pruning coffee trees and picking coffee beans. PESTS and diseases – Other threats threatening coffee production include the coffee berry borer, coffee leaf rust, coffee green scale, and pink disease (DAL, 2020). UNFAVORABLE MARKET PRICES – The price paid to smallholder coffee farmers is often less than the rate paid to exporters. Smallholders are also discouraged from paying attention to required farm activities, which has an effect on coffee productivity. FINANCIAL ACCESS – Certain coffee farmers choose to grow their farm or buy coffee processing equipment. They, on the other hand, frequently have difficulty obtaining loans from commercial banks. ACCESS TO LAND FOR COMMERCIAL COFFEE PRODUCTION – A wide area of land is required for commercial coffee production to be productive, particularly in terms of economies of scale. Broad tracts of land with proper names, on the other hand, are often difficult to navigate. This is due to the fact that the state-owned property with proper titles is almost depleted. Communal-owned property, which accounts for nearly 97 per cent of total land in PNG, lacks proper titles; and SECURITY issues – Theft of coffee goods, particularly in rural areas, is a major concern for farmers and raises production costs and losses. Discussion The results of this study revealed that PNG has the potential to become one of the world's leading coffee producers. The country's climatic and environmental conditions are ideal for growing a variety of coffee varieties, giving it an advantage over some of the world's top coffee producers. This may explain why, according to the study, PNG had a higher average coffee yield per hectare than all of the top five coffee-producing countries except Vietnam. However, the region of cultivated coffee fields and the quantity of coffee produced by PNG have remained lower than those of the other top five coffee-producing countries studied in this report. The PPAP, which is being implemented by the government with the support of the World Bank, has the ability to increase PNG's coffee production and make the country more competitive in the coffee industry. However, the PPAP benefits only certain coffee farmers, making it impossible to achieve the desired rise in coffee demand. More robust and reliable monitoring and evaluation processes are needed for the PPAP to contribute more meaningfully to the coffee market. The project should place a greater emphasis on coffee tree replanting and plantation regeneration. To increase overall coffee production in PNG, all coffee growers should have access to the PPAP (for example, through an all inclusion program).
PNG Business News - April 08, 2021
Chamber: Businesses are Hoping for Recovery in the Coffee Industry
According to the Goroka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), business is sluggish in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, but there is hope that the situation will change when the coffee industry picks up. In a market update, GCCI president Chris Anders said that coffee has always had a significant influence on the local economy. “Business has been slow the last few weeks, the main coffee crop in the Eastern Highlands should start to come through in the next few weeks,” he said.“This will put some cash into the economy and business should pick up.” According to the Coffee Industry Corporation, the province is second only to the Western Highlands in terms of coffee production. The province's largest cash crop is coffee. Coffee remains PNG's second-biggest agricultural export earner, contributing K2.4 billion in export revenue between 2014 and 2018 and processing around 259,000 tonnes of coffee beans, according to figures from the Agriculture and Livestock Department. Meanwhile, Anders claimed that the majority of companies complied with the Covid-19 pandemic controls. “But the people are not social distancing and not all are wearing masks which is a concern,” he said. “The main market is still a concern as this is where a large number of people gather.” Goroka market is currently at Peace Park.
PNG Business News - March 29, 2021
Coffee Demand Has Declined, According to a Survey
According to estimates from a survey, coffee production in the country has been decreasing for the past ten years. “From 1998 to 2018, the coffee harvest area and quantity of coffee produced in PNG decreased by 33 per cent and 28 per cent respectively,” a National Research Institute (NRI) report stated. The downturn was triggered by the problems that coffee growers face, such as a shortage of processing facilities, insufficient extension resources, and restricted access to finance. The problems could be resolved by the strategies suggested by NRI deputy director for research Prof Euegene Ezebilo and Prof Carolyn Afolami of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, based on the fact that “PNG has ideal environmental and climatic conditions for growing high-quality coffee.” They concluded in their paper, Strategies for improving coffee production and processing in PNG: Lessons from the top five coffee-producing countries, that the government's "political will" was critical in moving the coffee industry forward. “And this can be done by promoting effective extension services and training coffee growers on modern systems and innovations in producing coffee; provide funds for research and farm management practices; and, support farmers through loans facility at low-interest rates,” NRI said in a statement. “Policymakers, planners and agricultural managers are urged to take heed of the findings to make informed decisions on boosting the yield and quality of this commodity.”
PNG Business News - March 16, 2021
K10M To Give Agriculture A Boost
In the Southern Highlands Province, K10 million has been set aside for agriculture growth. Agriculture is the backbone of any economy, according to Southern Highlands agriculture advisor Kenneth Kuimp, so growing it in the province is a step in the right direction. He said that the province is embracing change and that agriculture is the driving force behind growth. “We are pleased to receive a K10 million funding from the provincial government to develop agriculture in the province,” he said. “Currently with the support of Fresh Produce Development Agency and Innovative Agro Industry, a chips factory has been established and this will help push the provincial authority to roll-out agricultural programs and interventions.” The province is currently implementing the potato seedlings initiative, according to Kuimp, which is in line with other projects in the works. “We are looking at rolling out other projects like coffee, potatoes and inland fisheries, fresh fruits and vegetables and other agriculture projects,” he said. The province's agriculture sector has been ignored for a long time, but Governor William Powi and provincial administrator Joseph Cajetan have recognized agriculture as a catalyst for change and have committed K10 million in funding from the Southern Highlands provincial government budget. The agriculture program, according to Kuimp, will be implemented in the five districts of Mendi Munihu, Imbonggu, Ialibu-Pangia, Kagua-Erave and Nipa-Kutubu.
PNG Business News - March 11, 2021
Government on Track in Increasing Fisheries Products
According to the National Fisheries Authority, the government is on track to increase downstream processing of fisheries products to 50% by 2025. Papua New Guinea had already accomplished around 23% of the goal, according to Authority managing director John Kasu. “There are a number of (government) objectives such as downstream processing which we have to increase by 2025 – a 50 per cent production,” he said. “We are faring very well to meet the targets and, this year, we have already achieved about 23 per cent. The objective is to grow the sector and invest in infrastructure, bring the cost of doing business in Papua New Guinea down so that we get a lot of business happening.” The key driver, according to Kasu, will be tuna fisheries, with revenue generated going toward developing other fisheries such as coastal and inland. “That’s basically the drive for the next 10 years,” he said. “On tuna, 70 per cent is being exported. The aim is to reduce that number and (have) internal processing plants. Rather than exporting, we can put it through the factories here.” The 2.4 million square kilometre PNG fisheries region is the highest in the South Pacific. It has a large reef system, a number of islands, and a long coastline. It presents a significant monitoring and control problem. On average, the overall market value of the PNG capture is projected to be between K350mil and K400mil.
PNG Business News - March 11, 2021
NFA Seeks to Develop Fishing Industry
The National Fisheries Authority seeks to develop infrastructure in order to grow PNG's fishing industry. According to NFA managing director John Kasu, the company has already submitted a 10-year strategic plan to the National Executive Council, which will be unveiled in April in Parliament to lay the groundwork for the fishing industry's future. “Our aim is to build proper infrastructures such as ports and jetties and when we have proper infrastructures it will attract more investors and that will bring the cost of doing business down,” he said. Kasu claims that doing business in the country is costly and that most fisheries factories aren't running at full capacity. Currently, factories are producing about 30% because they are not receiving enough fish to process, and the NFA aims to raise that production to 80 or 90%. “Our outlook for 2021 is to start work on building the important fisheries infrastructure project such as the Wagang Fisheries Port project in Lae and other major fisheries ports,” he said. “We will be also working on other projects such as the Tuna terminal project in Rabaul and also small jetties throughout the coastal areas in the country.” NFA, he said, would look at downstream manufacturing to ensure that they can increase output as well. When they increase demand, more fish would be available to the factories, allowing them to operate at maximum capacity. Kasu clarified that, unlike other industries, the NFA has been largely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic since most of their fishing vassals operate offshore and the NFA has a large offshore presence.
PNG Business News - March 11, 2021
National Fisheries Authority Signs MoU with Korea
To collaborate in fisheries infrastructure development, the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korea Fisheries Infrastructure Public Agency of the Republic of Korea on Fisheries Ports Development. The MoU provides a framework for both these groups to facilitate the sharing of best practices and exchange of technical and administrative human resource in the Fisheries Ports Development. This is also to support the development of the fishing industry. National Fisheries Authority Managing Director John Kasu said, “We’ve been having these discussions with the public agency in Korea and that has been for a number of years. So finally last year we agreed and as a result of that we agreed and as a result of that, we developed this MOU.” He said that this MoU is significant because they are building important fisheries infrastructure at the moment. “So it’s an important MOU, for us moving forward,” he said. Ambassador Kang, meanwhile, said. “The signing ceremony today may be small, but I’m sure this event is a big step toward our solidarity and our partnership in the future.”
PNG Business News - March 11, 2021
Government Rolls Out K19 Million to Support Cocoa
The government has so far put in K19 million for cost support to cocoa. According to Agriculture and Livestock Minister John Simon, the high-quality cocoa needed to be produced for the price to stay at K3 per kg. He added that last year, it was K10million and this year, K9 million as an incentive to growers to increase production. He said that what was being rolled out now was the K10 million from last year. “This year, the Government has allocated another K24 million (for agriculture price support), of which we have given another K9 million to cocoa, which makes it K19 million,” he said. “This money is for you (cocoa farmers). The money, however, will only be paid when you bring out your cocoa and weigh it on the scales.” He added, “I want to see men and women in the villages who are involved in cocoa, I want to visit them, I want to see that their cocoa gardens are clean, I want to see a good production of cocoa, I want to see happy farmers who are receiving money.”