• PNG Business News

Pom Isolation Biggest Hindrance To Agriculture

The isolation of Port Moresby to the rest of the country has been touted as its biggest hindrance to the agriculture sector and its effectiveness in growing the fresh produce sector.

With the Highlands region’s described as the country’s richest food bowl region, major private sector practitioners in the fresh produce manufacturing retail and development sector are still scratching their heads at the dilemma faced by having a capital city cut of from the rest of its country when it comes to logistics.

Innovative Agro Industries (IAI), who have been operating in the country for 8 years now, have noticed the dilemma that is facing the effective delivery of vegetable to the country’s largest urban market Port Moresby, which still grapples with not only demand, but consistency on the part of local produce.

“Moresby is isolated. It is the biggest market yet it is isolated. Never heard of a capital in the world that is isolated. “This is one thing that we, put everything aside as we have been here for 8 years, how can it be that Moresby and Lae are not connected,” said IAI Business development manager Gallit Tamir in an interview.

She indicated the opportunities that lay ahead even with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative may offer the solution to even venture into a railway system specifically for agriculture and other industry product movements. “It can just be for containers with goods and not for people. “Currently, if you want something to come from Moresby to Lae you only bring it by barge and you only have two companies that do that,” she pointed out.

She said aiming for a strong agriculture industry base can happen only around logistics. “You can’t offer the farmers a market if you didn’t think about the logistics, so fresh produce is very problematic coming out of the highlands.

Sentiments shared by major retailer RH Trading, whose Assistant general manager Phil Ager attested to on the part of logistics and also on the part of the quality of Highland produce that he said is amongst the best in the world. A factor he attested the RH’s supermarket chain is focused on replacing its imports and buy local.

“There needs to more of an approach between government to get infrastructure up because we have a lot of produce rotting because we can’t get it out at the moment. “The quality is the best in the world, their pricing is fair and we are happy to pay a fair price, but when you are accustomed to coming into a supermarket and today you have got onions and tomorrow you don’t. Where do you go?

“And this is the problem, and then it becomes easy for us to say you know what we will just import, but we have to stop doing that and put the pressure back on.

“I have been in the industry for over 40 years and I have never seen the ability to grow food and such a range of products in vegetables and fruit with the quality and quickness you can grow, nothing like it in the world.

“Yet isn’t it sad that there are people down here starving and there are people up in Hagen that have vegetables that are so much cheaper and plentiful, yet we are not connected,” he added.

Continue reading at https://postcourier.com.pg/pom-isolation-biggest-hindrance-to-agriculture/ | Post Courier

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