Minister for Agriculture, Aiye Tambua, said that the government announced this last week with advice from the National Agriculture & Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA).
“We have now banned all importation of chicken into the country starting at the end of the month. Any orders that were already placed will be allowed in, after that there will be no more orders placed. Basically we have banned the importation of the chicken because of the disease, Avian Influenza that has affected a lot of the Asian countries (with) an outbreak in Australia,” said Minister Tambua.
Minister Tambua says the government is concerned about the Poultry Industry in PNG, which has only two major players; Zenag and New Guinea Table Birds.
“The government is concerned that this disease will really kill the industry. Our poultry is worth almost a billion kina. Other countries can survive with their government but it’s hard for us. We don’t have the capacity to revive our sector. The other issue is (that) we don’t believe in the quality that is brought into the country,” said Tambua.
The ban of imported chicken does not include mechanically deboned chicken which are used for products like biscuits.
He stated that the decision will have side effects like a price hike to happen after 3-4 months. Secondly is a shortfall of supply of chicken in the country, but they will make up for it.
He stated that moving forward, the two major players will have an increase of workers expecting 2,000 people into employment.
The ban will allow a cancelation of K200million worth of imported chicken from outside and used in the country. Also, local farmers will benefit more due to an increase in demand.