K20 Million Generated In Phase One Of Free Freight
A total of K20 million has been generated in the first phase of the government’s free freight subsidy program.
Introduced and rolled out by the Department of National Planning and Monitoring this program has seen money injected directly to farmers.
Chairman of freight subsidy scheme Michael Kumung said this K20million has not only supported farmers but everyone along the supply chain.
Mr Kumung was speaking at the ABC Media Development Initiative briefing on Wednesday when he revealed the statistics of the first phase of the Government’s freight subsidy scheme.
Kumung said a total of 49 containers both dry and reefers were loaded in the first week of May that was loaded in Lae and shipped to Port Moresby and was rolled out for 14 weeks.
He said the 14 voyages that Bismark Maritime Limited did saw a total of 914 containers of both dry and perishable goods being transported under the K3 million agreement signed between the State and Bismark.
The 14 voyages carried a total of 914 containers of which 650 were dry containers that brought in taro, kaukau and other dry goods and 289 reefers brought in perishable like vegetables and fruits.
Kumung said Bismark’s charge for a container is at K2600 for dry goods and K3600 for perishable goods which the state offset using the K3million to assist farmers transporting their produce from parts of highlands, Madang and Lae.
While acknowledging that there were issues with oversupply in the market, Mr Kumung said the market was able to adjust itself as time goes by in the first 14 weeks.
“The adjustment came to a level and we were seeing consistency in the number and volume of containers that were coming down every week.
From the 914 containers that we have brought in, each container has the capacity to bring 110bags and so far we have shifted from the last 14 days 10540 bags into Port Moresby,” he said.
The wholesale price of a Kaukau or taro is selling at the markets from K150 to K200 which is the average price shippers were selling at and on average price the citrus and other fresh produce were sold between K200 and K300, the average price of K250.
“These reefer goods generated almost K8 million and dry goods have generated close to K12.8 million,” he said.
Mr Kumung said adding together the sum of both dry and perishable goods the farmers made an estimated total of K20.8 million.
“In total we have generated an estimate of K20.8 million direct cash injection and all these money that got circulated in the hands of the people found its way to the supermarket and that means when they pay for the goods GST component was added on.
Taking 10 per cent out from that K20.8 million as GST tax revenue, farmers were able to make K20.2million from that single program,” he said.