Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Richard Maru, in his recent discussions with Fresh Produce Development Agency, noted that there is huge potential for exports of many of PNG’s indigenous crops to overseas markets.
Maru said the country needs to look at large scale commercial food production to address food security issues in the country, and also for exports.
Minister Maru held talks with FPDA to look at some exotic crops such as the kiwi fruit, which has a significant market demand in the country.
English and sweet potatoes are becoming stable and there is a need to produce on a mass scale to feed the domestic markets and start substituting imports such as potato chips and other products made of potatoes.
Minister Maru has also held talks with the New Zealand government on the issue of biosecurity as it remains the biggest risk to our agriculture exports performance.
He said there is greater effort and support accorded by the government to ensure that the Bio-Security Policy is formulated and legislation enacted subsequently.
Furthermore, the Planning Ministry and other relevant government agencies plan to support key interventions in the food crop sector and the need to build the capacity of the FPDA.
This is to be more responsive to PNG’s food security and also to develop the export potential in the food crop sector.