Marcelle P. Villegas - November 21, 2021
The Youth Leads Ecosystem Restoration through Mangrove Planting
Mangrove seedlings [Photo credit: Sarangib, from Pixabay] In celebration of World Environment Day last June, there were 600 school children who took part in planting 700 mangrove seeds along the coastline of Riwo, Madang Province. The celebration's theme for this year is "Ecosystem Restoration". The mangrove planting activity was made possible through the Child-Focus Disaster Risk Reduction (CFDRR) project. The project aims to bring awareness to children the importance of mangrove in protecting the environment along the coastlines. The roots of the mangroves sustain life in the aquatic ecosystem by providing safe shelter and breeding area for some species of fish. CFDRR is a key long-term strategy for sustainable and resilient development to ensure that the future generations can cope with climate change. CFDRR programs and projects are implemented in various countries and adopted by UNICEF as well. According to Dehaan Lapawe, project coordinator of CFDRR, "Mangrove trees in swampy or coastal areas provide a safe and rich habitat for different fish stocks to rest, feed, recover and breed. Fish bring protein and income for families." Lapawe emphasised that matured mangrove trees also provide shelter for birds and other animals. Moreover, mangroves reduce the effect of waves from the body of water, therefore, preventing soil erosion. He also mentioned that mangrove seeds can also serve as a food source in some parts of Papua New Guinea. "This is one way to be disaster ready. The community must continue this initiative to reduce soil erosion and help protect their schools and community." The CFDRR project in Riwo village is a project of World Vision, in partnership with Madang Provincial Disaster office. It is funded by the Australian government through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP). With regards to the brewing effects of climate change, the study and research titled "Beyond Barriers: Integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Pacific" (July 2021) reports and verifies that climate change results in rising sea level. If this increase in sea level intensifies through time, it will cause other major environmental problems like soil erosion and further damages to the environment. “Beyond Barriers…” is a study and research by Jessica McCommon, Jessica Lees (Humanitarian Advisory Group), Cedric Hoebreck (World Vision Australia), and Linda Vaike (Independent Consultant). According to Humanitarian Advisory Group, who featured the transcript of “Beyond Barriers” and described its findings and purpose, “The case for integrating disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) to minimise loss and damage, reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience continues to grow. This is against a backdrop of increasing frequency and severity of disasters worldwide and the recognition that, at the community level, the distinction between DRR and CCA is artificial.” “Linkages between the two policy fields, coming belatedly to communities’ holistic understandings of what is driving their exposure to risk and how to manage it, have driven researchers, policymakers and practitioners to consider how to more closely align approaches to produce better outcomes for crisis-affected populations.” “The case has been made in academic and practitioner literature, agency reports and emerging policies, yet what it means from a community perspective to integrate DRR and CCA has received little research attention.” To address the potential environmental damages of climate change in the future, this CFDRR project aims to prevent and counter climate change impacts "through climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction”. In this initiative, they chose to focus on children whom they consider “the most vulnerable”.  According to Sixtus Balen, head teacher of Malmal Primary School, the initiative of CFDRR is "timely" because the rising sea level due to climate change and strong sea surges are inevitable forces of nature, and that the people in the community are vulnerable to those occurrences. He also mentioned smaller and low-lying islands are disappearing and now the mainland is exposed to destructive soil erosion. Balen stated, "Mangrove trees in Riwo and Malmal swamps and coastal areas were cut and used by locals for building houses, fuel-wood, making canoes and other artefacts of cultural importance over time. Unfortunately, no replacement has been made." He also noted that mangroves are essential "as a buffer to protect the shoreline and [will provide] a breeding site for fish". Such knowledge on the mangrove’s importance might is new for most students. Thus, he thanked World Visions CFDRR project for this mangrove planting initiative which brought deeper environmental education and awareness for the youth. From an article by Papua New Guinea Post-Courier, Madang Provincial Government's disaster manager, Rudolph Mongallee, expressed that "his office cannot perform as it should to counter the impacts of climate change and disaster preparedness within the province because of reasons beyond his control." He did mention that the ongoing partnership with World Vision is "peaceful and cordial" and he is very supportive of the initiative. Mongallee stated, "I'm only wishing that if World Vision can extend to the other six districts, because those districts that World Vision has already entered, I see that they're already disaster prepared." The young students who took part in the mangrove planting also expressed their commitment to look after the mangrove seedling and appreciation that such initiative gave them a chance to directly look after their local marine ecosystem. One of the students named Stephanie said, “Planting mangrove is important because it can protect us from rising sea levels and be a home for small fish to breed.” Another student, Benedict, said “I will look after my tree and my village and school.” The future looks bright with the young generation taking an active part in addressing the adverse effects of climate change. All it takes are consistent and well-planned steps like this mangrove planting initiative which was organised by World Vision and other partners. ----- Reference:  (20 Sept. 2021) Papua New Guinea Post-Courier website. "Children Plant Mangroves To Address Climate Change". Retrieved from - https://postcourier.com.pg/children-plant-mangroves-to-address-climate-change/  McCommon, Jessica; Lees, Jessica; et al. (July 2021). “Beyond Barriers: Integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation int he Pacific" Retrieved from - https://humanitarianadvisorygroup.org/insight/beyond-barriers-integrating-disaster-risk-reduction-and-climate-change-adaptation-in-the-pacific/ Photo credit: Top photo - by sarangib, Pixabay - https://pixabay.com/photos/mangrove-seedlings-plantation-creek-249920/  “Beyond Barriers: Integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation int he Pacific" by McCommons, Lees, et al. -- Humanitarian Advisory Group - https://humanitarianadvisorygroup.org/insight/beyond-barriers-integrating-disaster-risk-reduction-and-climate-change-adaptation-in-the-pacific/
PNG Business News - November 18, 2021
Marape: PNG Dedicated to Preserving Rainforests
PNG may be the smallest economy in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec), but it is rich in natural resources, according to Prime Minister James Marape. He virtually addressed the Apec economic leaders' summit, which was hosted by New Zealand. “Papua New Guinea, in our small way, commit ourselves to preserve 13 per cent of the world’s rainforests that we have. And we commit ourselves to preserving 6 per cent of the world’s biodiversity that we have.” Marape urged Apec leaders to be aware of PNG's global assets in light of climate change and mitigation issues and to assist the country in conservation. When PNG hosted the Apec meeting in 2018, he said, the majority of the Apec economies came to visit. “You would have realised that we live in the middle of east and west, we live in the middle of north and south,” he said. “We are the smallest economy, amid each and every one of you. But we are a voice – especially advocating for small (Pacific) island nations, the smaller nations, the weaker nations. We can be a pointer to you bigger economies on how to link to each and everyone, and help humanity.” Reference: The National (15 November 2021). “PNG committed to preserve rainforest, PM tells Apec meeting”.
PNG Business News - November 18, 2021
NFA Secures Land For Tuna Terminal Project
Photo credit: National Fisheries Authority The National Fisheries Authority (NFA) has provided K5 million as a final transaction for the acquisition of property for a fisheries centre that was in the process of being liquidated. The site at Rabaul, East New Britain Province, has been obtained for a fisheries centre, on which the NFA has begun construction in collaboration with the East New Britain Provincial Association. In terms of the project's history, the property was sold to the highest bidder for K12 million, of which ENBPA paid K2 million, with the remaining K5 million coming from the Public Investment Program, which was supported by the Department of National Planning after NFA submitted a proposal. The NFA paid the remaining K5 million in a modest check on Thursday, November 11th, but full work will not begin until land titles in liquidation are in order, and a representative from O'Brian Lawyers was there to accept the check. According to John Kasu, NFA's Managing Director, this is one of the infrastructure projects the organization is working on around the nation as part of its 10-year strategic plan. “This Rabaul Tuna Terminal is basically one of those important projects that we are embarking on and apart from that we have projects in Lae, we have the Voco Point and Wagang. Recently we have this PMIZ that has been brought back to NFA to implement,” he said. Mr Kasu said Rabaul is an important transhipment port and there are four right across the country from Rabaul, Lae, Madang and Wewak. Adding that Rabaul has activities, that NFA is getting on board to strengthen and develop those areas and its infrastructures. “The Tuna Terminal is about developing our facility where all these activities are taking place off-shore and transhipment. Some these activities can be brought onshore, and that piece of land provides a wharf where vessels can come in and to carry out transhipment provisioning.” The NFA will continue to collaborate with the ENBPA, beginning with the creation of an MoU outlining what is required for future development on the bought land. Upon receiving the award,, ENB Deputy Provincial Administrator, Nicholas Larme,, said: “This one has taken a long time for us to find traction going forward. Ownership of land is important for project development, and is the counterpart of the equity that provinces will have in relation to moving this project forward.” Reference: Loop (12 November 2021). “NFA Secures Land For Project”.
PNG Business News - November 08, 2021
Fisheries Exports Exceeded K1.5Bil Last Year, Says NFA
According to the National Fisheries Authority, the country's fish and fisheries goods exports exceeded K1.5 billion last year (NFA). This was said by managing director John Kasu during the beginning of the national fisheries judicial conference, which is now taking place in Port Moresby. “The importance of fisheries to Papua New Guinea and the economies of coastal and island communities cannot be understated,” he said. “The export of fish and fishery products out of PNG in terms of quantity has continued to increase annually over the last years. “Last year, the value of exports exceeded K1.5 billion for all fish and fishery products while from licensing, PNG earned close to K400 million.” More than 103,000 tons of fish and fisheries products were shipped to international markets in 2014, according to the authority's website. In 2019, exports nearly quadrupled to 196,000 tonnes of items, with a total export value of K1.3 billion, in only five years. Tuna in canned, frozen, and dry meal forms, dried sea cucumber (bêche-de-mer), finfish, prawn and shrimp, sharkfin, lobster, and crab were among the fish and fisheries exports. The combined exports from the coastal fisheries industry accounted for barely 1% of overall PNG fish and fishery exports. Tuna exports and total combined fish and fisheries exports were dominated by onshore-based tuna processing facilities and locally-based foreign vessels. The majority of canned tuna goods are sent to the European Union region, along with substantial amounts of frozen whole round tuna for resale or further processing, thanks to the European Union's tax-free agreement and ecolabelling certificate that Parties to the Nauru Agreement enjoy. Under a commercial deal agreed by the presidents of the Melanesian Spearhead Group countries, PNG canned tuna is also shipped to Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. Reference: The National (3 November 2021). “Exports surpass K1.5bil”.
PNG Business News - November 05, 2021
MORI: PNG ADAMENT ON STOPPING LOGGING BY 2030
Photo credit: Lowy Institute The Papua New Guinea Special Envoy and Minister for Environment Conservation & Climate Change, Hon. Wera Mori, MP, says PNG is adamant on ceasing all logging, on a large scale, completely by 2030. He said the collective decision by COP26 to stop deforestation entirely by 2030, is an agenda PNG has always advocated for under the leadership of Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, MP. “It is now a formal Government policy to ban round-logging by 2025 and ban logging entirely by 2030. “We didn’t know that this would be the position taken up by COP26, here in Glasgow. However, this is a blessing in disguise for Papua New Guinea. Over the years these COP summits have become exaggerated, where every year we collaborate and come up with ideologies to mitigate climate change; yet nothing practical is being done, in addressing global climate issues,” Minister Mori said. He said COP26 must change. It must not be a forum for talking and conceptualizing. It must move forward and walk the talk. “Papua New Guinea has decided to take action, simply because, our landmass covers one per cent of the global landmass, and is host to seven per cent of global biodiversity, in terms of marine and territorial landmass. “For us, it has been quite a challenge, simply because, despite the fact that we host 30 per cent of the remaining primary rainforest, we have become the lungs of this planet, drawing in carbon dioxide, emitted by industrialized countries. “That has been spelt out in our National Determined Contribution, which we submitted on 18th December 2020, having been one of the first few countries in the world to do so,” Minister Mori said. He said PNG now has all relevant enabling legislations to basically walk along that path. “The biggest question now is, monetization of our efforts – how do we get compensated? “We just simply can’t ban logging in PNG, as it is a $1 billion industry, where the industrialized world expects us to continue to be the carbon filters of the earth, when they are only good for talking but not being responsible for our climate predicaments,” Minister Mori said. He said Papua New Guinea is a member of the global community so when we decide to do that, we know what the costs are, having done our part. “We would like to see the industrialized world or the first world who are responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases, come up with financial and economic development assistance packages. “So, if the UN or the industrialized countries wanted us to terminate logging in our country entirely, they would have to make up for the revenue we raise from that particularly industry, annually,” Minister Mori said. He said for other members of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN), I will also advocate on their behalf. They too must be compensated. “It is completely unfair that we are the victims of the climate problems we have not caused,” Minister Mori said. He also had brief pull aside meetings with the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and His Royal Highness Prince Charles, at the margins of the COP26 Leaders’ Summit, in Scotland. Article courtesy of Department of PM&NEC
PNG Business News - October 13, 2021
Oil Palm Blocks Restoration will Provide Revenue: Official
Photo credit: Department of Agriculture and Livestock According to Oil Palm Industry Corporation (Opic) acting general-secretary Kepson Pupita, the rehabilitation of smallholder oil palm blocks would result in more money being earned. Pupita was recently in Alotau, Milne Bay, to gift Opic workers with a motorcycle and tour abandoned dwellings on project sites. Opic also compensated around 26 farmers who were hired to clean their blocks as part of the Opic initiative. “In 2019, in the Alotau project, we did 687,117 metric tonnes of fresh fruit bunch,” Pupita said. “In 2020, the time we started doing some intervention activities with the support of the government for the first time, our production went up to 733,724 metric tonnes. “That is a small increase of 7 per cent or 46,607 metric tonnes. “But in terms of kina, we brought in K65 million to the farmers – the gross earnings paid to the farmers.” The Alotau project, which comprises 1,522 hectares of cultivated oil palm, has around 843 smallholder farmers. “I continue to tell farmers that this increase in 60 per cent of world price will continue to spiral up thanks to the Coronavirus (Covid-19),” Pupita said. “In the local communities people continue to work, because they are already isolated, the families live on their own. “And that is the advantage of agriculture, and we will have to continue to promote agriculture.” Reference: The National (11 October 2021). “Restoration of oil palm blocks will bring money: Official”.
PNG Business News - October 13, 2021
EU Sets Aside $300,000 to revive agriculture sector
With approximately US$300,000 in funding, technical help, and mentorship support, the European Union (EU) is promoting rural entrepreneurship, investment, and trade programs. It aims to revive the agricultural sector by partnering with private sector innovators such as Agritech, Fintech, supply chain financing, mobile money providers, and other businesses to improve access to finance, knowledge, information, and markets for agriculture micro, small, and medium enterprises. Programme manager of the BPNG SME accelerator Dominic Sikakau said: “The fund will most likely address and develop the demand side of financial access and will contribute to poverty reduction through sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas, through the development of value chains of three commodities – cocoa, vanilla and fisheries in that region.” Shortlisted candidates would be asked to provide at least 30% of the overall project cost, which includes technical resources, personnel, and operations. In addition, they will participate in a three-day bootcamp, pitching support, business support building, and pitching coaching. Marco Arena, EU’s innovative financing specialist said: “The EU believes SMEs are key enterprises to the sustainable development of PNG. “With technical assistance, companies can compete for resources that they will be able to use and to grow to expand their businesses and create jobs and opportunities for low-income areas,” Arena said. Reference: The National (11 October 2021). “EU allocates US$300,000 to revive agriculture sector”.
PNG Business News - October 13, 2021
PM Marape Donates K1.5 Million To Menyamya's Coffee Development
PM Marape Gives K1.5 Million For Coffee Development in Menyamya . Photo, PNG Government media Hon. James Marape, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, has set aside K1.5 million for coffee development in rural Menyamya, Morobe, which produces some of the best coffee in the country. During his one-day visit to Menyamya Station last week, he revealed this to hundreds of people. PM Marape was accompanied by members of the ruling Pangu Pati, including Education Minister Hon. Jimmy Uguro, Morobe Governor Hon. Ginson Saonu, and Menyamya MP Hon. Benjamin Philip. He stated that K1.5 million would go into a coffee depot and K500,000 would go toward coffee price support managed by local churches. “I want the Menyamya District Administration to set up a good coffee-buying depot here for K1 million so farmers don’t need to carry heavy bags on their shoulders to find markets in Bulolo and Lae,” PM Marape said. “I want coffee to be bought here at good prices, which farmers can collect, and then return to their gardens “I want the churches to get the K500,000 and buy coffee at good prices. “Our Government has put in place a price support programme to support coffee, cocoa, copra, vanilla and other agriculture produce. “Coffee buyers who are buying here, and at Marawaka (Eastern Highlands) for K1.50 per kg, should now be paying K6 per kg. “I want the Menyamya District Administration to partner with the churches in delivering this programme. “I am engaging the churches so they can involve young people and get them back to their coffee gardens. “The churches will then buy coffee at a good price.” PM Marape recently stated at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City that PNG is "one huge garden." “Our job as Government is to help you get your produce to markets,” he said. “If five million Papua New Guineans go to agriculture, and produce one bag of coffee, cocoa or copra, you are contributing K1.5 billion extra on top of our current National Budget of K12 billion.” PM Marape stated the Pangu Pati had envisioned a PNG where everyone had money when the country gained independence in 1975, but that this had fallen by the wayside. “We are now picking up and putting PNG back on the right road to economic independence, where everyone will have money in their pockets,” he said. “When my Government realised that the price of coffee, cocoa and copra was very low, and deterring farmers, we decided to introduce price support and buying points at the farm gate.” Reference: Papua New Guinea Today (10 October 2021). “PM Marape Gives K1.5 Million For Coffee Development in Menyamya”.
PNG Business News - August 30, 2021
Madang Pacific Maritime Industrial Zone to be Redeveloped
Madang Province's Pacific Maritime Industrial Zone will be redeveloped to become a regional fish processing centre. The National Fisheries Authority and the Treasury Department are collaborating on the project's development and financing plan. Ango Wangatau, head of the National Fisheries Authority, said the regional processing hub will bring together other Pacific Island governments to achieve a critical mass of tuna processing and export from the Pacific. PNG will inevitably emerge as the leading country as the hosting hub. According to him, the sector expects to gain more than 30,000 new jobs as a result of the PMIZ's launch, with income-producing over K3 to K4 billion. “Maximising export earnings is contingent on increasing value-adding production and the PMIZ redevelopment is the platform to achieve it. “The NFA Board is confident that this investment will lift PNGs value-adding capacity to another level in the commercialisation agenda.” The National Fisheries Board, according to Wangatau, is dedicated to participating in these changes and is convinced that the plan's road map will enable the fisheries sector to contribute to the objective of "Taking Back PNG and Leaving No Child Behind." He stated that he has been in discussions with super funds about partnering with NFA to invest in infrastructure and allowing private sector participation, which would help the industry to develop additional facilities and achieve the anticipated outcomes. Reference: Yafoi, Melisha. Post-Courier (27 August 2021). “Pacific Maritime Industrial Zone In Madang Back On The Table”.
PNG Business News - August 30, 2021
Wangatau: Transformation Should Include Sector Wide Strategy
The absence of a sectorwide strategic plan detailing the sector's future roadmap has been a significant flaw in the transformation. Chairman of the National Fisheries Authority Ango Wangatau made this comment during the introduction of the NFA's 10-year strategic plan. While annual development programs were driven primarily by the parameters of annualised budget planning, he claimed the tuna processing industry operated primarily as a rent-seeking revenue stream from the Vessel Day Scheme and underperforming tuna processing plants that sought disproportionate rebate support from the state. True progress, he added, should be judged not by GDP but by the degree to which people are given the chance to participate in the betterment of their own lives. “The founding fathers recognised that we had abundant natural capital that can be converted into economic wealth and they warned that the process should not be done through careless irresponsible actions but through responsible sustainable means,” Wangatau said. “These founding principles of development are still very relevant today as they were more than 40 years ago. “Unfortunately, in our short history, we have moved away from these noble principles and followed a road map that is inconsistent with our own Melanesian beliefs of inclusivity and sustainability. “The result has been the unsustainable overexploitation of our natural resources, over-dependence on the export of raw materials and denying ourselves maximum export earnings on the value of exports, the marginalisation of our people, overdependence on rent-seeking modes of development and creation of a culture of dependency in our communities. “Clearly, this is not the development road map that our founding fathers envisioned. “Correcting it has therefore become necessary in all sectors of our economy. The fisheries sector is no exception.” Despite numerous changes, he added, there are still problems in translating reforms into tangible broad-based prosperity that includes ordinary Papua New Guineans and their significant contribution to progress. As a result, he explained, the strategic plan would focus on creating enabling infrastructure and improving the industry's operating environment. “This will involve investment in dedicated fisheries development and transportation infrastructure such as wharves, ports, jetties, slipways and onshore facilities to enhance the competitiveness of the industry.” Reference: Yafoi, Melisha. Post-Courier (27 August 2021). “Resources Important For Growth”.
PNG Business News - August 30, 2021
Bakani: Agriculture and SME Policy Improvements Would Enhance Kina
Policy changes in agricultural and small-to-medium companies, according to Bank of PNG Governor Loi Bakani, would boost the PNG Kina versus other currencies. Bakani warned stakeholders at a CPA conference in Lae that the country has been missing out on a golden chance for years. He said that the value of the PNG Kina has fallen by 41% between 2012 and 2020. The kina value versus the US dollar was as high as 0.4 toea when the PNG Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant began exporting. “When foreign exchange from PNGLNG stopped, there wasn’t sufficient forex coming in or from other mining or non-mineral sectors to sustain the appreciation of kina,” he said. Bakani said if policies were in place to encourage the agriculture and SME sectors, import substitution and export promotion, kina would have remained stable. “In the last two years, we’ve seen a big pick-up in the export of non-minerals, especially in agriculture, to generate a lot of forex.” He advised stakeholders to cut imports and increase exports. The Wafi-Golpu project, the Porgera mine, and the Papua LNG projects, according to Bakani, have the potential to reverse the trend and boost the Kina. “This is the idea to address this shortcoming with the PNG LNG project where the government gets early revenue, the foreign exchange comes to banks and helps exchange rates to appreciate.” Reference: The National (25 August 2021). “Bakani: Policy reforms in agriculture, SME will strengthen Kina”.
PNG Business News - August 09, 2021
PNG Forest Authority Publishes Plans and Asks Funds
The PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) has announced plans to move the industry ahead and has asked the government for greater funds to put them into action. They include the following: NATIONAL strategies for downstream processing of forest produce 2020-2024; PNGFA corporate plan for 2021-2030; SITUATION of the forestry sector; NATIONAL strategies for afforestation reforestation in PNG 2020-2024; REVISED PNG logging code of practice – second edition 2020. Walter Schnaubelt, the Minister of Forests, has asked the government to increase money for the authority to carry out the plan. He stated that the authority has faced challenges in bringing economic, social, and environmental benefits to resource owners during the past 21 years. “But (the authority) continues to be insufficiently funded,” he added. “For this plan to be effectively implemented, there needs to be a collaborative, holistic and inclusive approach and this must be support by sufficient and prudent management. “I seek sufficient funding support to be invested in the implementation of these plans and its supporting strategies to improve monitoring and control of the development and use of PNG forest.” PNGFA board chairman Keith Iduhu said companies had gained much from the sector. “Over the years, we have seen the lucrative returns logging companies gained,” he said. “Earlier this year, Schnaubelt warned companies and operators about their obligations in the various agreements. “Many companies and operations extract from our natural resources yet do not pay up their dues as stipulated by law. Reference: Mauludu, Shirley. The National (4 August 2021). “Forest authority releases plans, requests funding”.
PNG Business News - August 09, 2021
Over K1 Million in White Copra Revenue
More than K1 million has returned to East New Britain following the province's sixth shipment of edible white copra at the end of last month. Kevin Kasap, the NGI Supply Co-ordinator for Coconut Resource Limited (CRL), has confirmed this. He said the province has sent its sixth shipment to Dubai, consisting of 10 containers weighing 108 metric tonnes and contained 4500 bags of edible white copra –– the province's first of its type. “With the shipment, the estimation on the revenue, new money coming in is more than K1 million because for each container, we export we get more than K40,000 so we multiply that by the number of containers we are selling,” said Kasap. He said that CRL is ready and has signed a deal for another 20 containers to be shipped in 60 days, claiming that all districts are ramping up their pace and that the firm is getting more from the districts. The K400,000 Gazelle district price assistance scheme, which was announced last month, has been in effect since the beginning of this month, with district producers receiving K4 per kilogram, comparable to the Kokopo district. According to Kasap, the flow of white copra is increasing in the four districts, where they buy 2.5 metric tonnes each month. The Kokonas Indastri Koporesen (KIK) extension team is continuing with training programs in the districts and throughout New Guinea. According to him, the revenue is returned to the producers because CRL is simply facilitating the shipping and whatever money is collected is returned to the farmers via the price paid out by KIK as a corporate social obligation to the growers. Farmers have been encouraged to follow the correct method for producing edible white copra, he added, since CRL conducts quality inspections before picking up the goods from the farmers. “By the end of the year, we should be producing almost 1000 metric tonnes, that is if all the districts come in including the NGI provinces of Bougainville, New Ireland and West New Britain,” he said. The coordinating office is in Kokopo, and training is still taking on in the NGI provinces, with all containers being sent to Kokopo once they start buying. According to Kasap, it will be massive, and they are looking forward to growing resources and buy property to establish industries in the future. He claims the province is currently producing 240 metric tonnes and will increase to 400 metric tonnes by the end of the year. Reference: Lima, Grace. Post-Courier (4 August 2021). “White Copra Brings In Over K1 Million”.
PNG Business News - August 02, 2021
‘Industry Loses K88 Million Due to Drop in Production.'
According to the Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd, a decrease in coffee production of more than 200,000 bags yearly has resulted in a loss of K88 million to coffee growers (CICL). Jerry Kapka, the board chairman, stated that the people were "losing out" and "not getting what is anticipated." “I want to bring the industry to the management and work together to deliver to the industry stakeholders,” he said. Many things, according to Kapka, need to be examined, reformed, and implemented in order to assist coffee producers. “I think they want to see some changes,” he said. “The board cannot do it all alone. Let us connect the industry with our management team and move forward with better plans for the industry.” He stated that raising the amount would not be an issue. “But the company and board directors should review what they had been doing, why people were not responding and move forward from there,” he said. On July 9, Kapka was elected chairman of the board of directors during a special general meeting. On the board, he represents the exporters' council. Patrick Komba was replaced by him. Kapka has more than 20 years of expertise in coffee growing, trade, and export, according to CICL acting chief executive officer Charles Dambui. “CICL looks forward to working with the new board to deliver the National Coffee Road Map (2020-2030) and the CICL Business Strategic Plan (2020-2024),” he said. Reference: The National (28 July 2021). ‘Decline in production costs industry K88 million’
PNG Business News - July 21, 2021
Study Says Sweet Potato Growers Have Received Significant Insights into Customers Buying Habits
In Papua New Guinea (PNG), sweet potato (kaukau) growers have received significant insight into customer buying habits, which is assisting them in identifying new market possibilities. The recent market analysis, which was supported by the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership and conducted by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, revealed that an increasing number of consumers in Port Moresby prefer to buy fresh produce from supermarkets, citing convenience and safety as reasons. While this trend may result in fewer consumers at conventional farmer markets, PNG and Australian experts believe it may open up new marketplaces for rural people. “Farmers are looking for stable markets where they can receive more consistent prices for better-quality produce,” said Professor Philip Brown from Central Queensland University (CQU), who is leading the research project. “The research shows that consumer behaviour is likely to support an expansion in the supermarket sector in large urban centres and this is positive news for the farmers. This could allow commercial focused farmers to secure more stable market access.” The study of 353 customers was conducted as part of ACIAR-funded sweet potato research sponsored by CQU and the PNG National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), which aims to improve sweet potato value chains by increasing the quality of harvested roots. Sweet potato quality and production are improving, resulting in increasing supplies to retailers eager to provide better fresh produce. “The project, with support from the Fresh Produce Development Agency and NARI, is helping farmers to build their business skills and connect with emerging supermarket opportunities,” said Professor Brown. Kirt Hainzer, a CQU researcher who collaborated on the survey alongside NARI researchers, said it was the first study to look at customer behaviour and see what role stores may play in the development of PNG's commercial sweet potato sector. “The research sought to better understand and compare how consumers buy staples from open markets and supermarkets and to explore the preferences for purchasing staple foods as supermarkets increase the availability of convenience staples like rice,” said Hainzer. “Although expanding formal sales represents a huge step forward in developing a commercial sweet potato industry, continued research on consumer preferences and the market for fresh produce will help better understand trends in staple food purchasing and what market opportunities exist for growers.” With over a hundred kinds of sweet potato in the nation, NARI economist Raywin Ovah said the study sought to find out which of these customers preferred. “Not all the varieties are preferred from a consumer point of view. There are only a few that consumers want to be based on the taste or health properties and that is what we want to also find out. Farmers can be provided with that information, so they produce those varieties that the market wants.” One of five initiatives under the Transformative Agriculture and Enterprise Development Program is a project to increase commercial sweet potato production and commercialization in the PNG highlands. The ACIAR program, which is funded by Australia in collaboration with the government of Papua New Guinea, aims to improve the livelihoods of rural men and women through private sector-led development, increased agricultural productivity and quality, and the development of individual and institutional capacity. Reference: Loop (20 July 2021). “Study looks into sweet potato industry”.