The Papua New Guinea government on Monday announced a ban on the import of 10 varieties of fruits and vegetables to spur the domestic producing market.


Agricultural and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll is reportedly considering a further ban on products from China and other nations of the Asian region, particularly products with labels in languages other than English.
Domestic agriculture production and market access has been concerning local authorities for some time.

PNG has already banned poultry imports from Australia, largely attributed to the growth of local poultry sector.
Tomscoll said the fruit and vegetable ban will improve the local small and medium enterprise (SME) sector.

The SME sector that has taken a large hit from government investment since the PNG Treasury revealed the country was facing an economic crisis, reportedly delaying loans to the nation’s key investment bank.
Farmers across PNG have welcomed the move to agricultural self reliance.

“It’s not that locals can’t produce quality and quantity, but it’s the markets that have been dominated by imported vegetables that discouraged our people,” Western Highlands farmer Berry Maip said.

PNG is traditionally a subsistence-farming nation with little knowledge of agriculture commercialization.
Maip said farmers would require assistance on the technical aspects of commercialization.

Irish potato, bulb onion, cabbage, carrot, tomato, capsicum ( green peppers), pumpkin, peas, zucchini, egg plant, Pak Choi/ Chinese cabbage, French bean, lettuce and celery will all fall under the ban. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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