Fresh Produce

Address challenges of Informal fresh produce operators

Fresh produce is mostly supplied by informal business operators; however, they tend to face several challenges that restrict them from meeting demand for the produce.

The National Research Institute (NRI) Spotlight Volume 16, Issue 8 titled “The Challenges faced by informal fresh produce vendors in Port Moresby” by Evelyn Malala, PNG NRI Project Research Officer, outlines the main types of challenges faced by informal fresh produce marketers and how the challenges can be addressed.

Challenges faced by informal fresh produce operators include the following:

Apple farmers plead for airstrip

The apple farmers of Gumbarami need their airstrip, which they built themselves, to be assessed and opened.

Currently, the Nahu-Rawa LLG has an estimated 10,000 apple trees.

The trees came from six apple seeds that farmer Bondo Gawa picked from discarded apple cores at Ramu in 1983.

He took the seeds to Gumbarami and planted them in three empty rice packets.

Once he saw leaves emerging, he replanted them in the soil. He did all these with no formal training.

Fresh Produce Subsidy Continues

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Commerce and Industry, Sam Basil, signed the deal with Bismark’s managing director, Hamish Sharp, in Lae on Tuesday.

The fresh produce transport freight subsidy scheme was initiated by the Department of National Planning and Monitoring when Basil was Minister for National Planning. It was an intervention to ensure food security and nutrition during the early onslaught of COVID-19.

ENB Supplies Fresh Food to NCD

Forty bags of fresh produce arrived over the weekend, and was sold at the Gordons market in bulk.

The fresh food supply was made possible through the partnership between the East New Britain Market Authority and Markets Division of the National Capital District Commission.

NCDC Market Manager, Charlie Pengi said fresh produce is critical to achieve healthy outcomes for the city.

K3m subsidy for fresh produce

This was made possible with the signing of a K3 million agreement between the government and a Lae-based shipping service provider.

This State of Emergency intervention was announced on Monday, April 27th, by the National Planning Minister, Sam Basil, following the signing of a service level agreement by the SOE Controller, David Manning, department secretary Koney Samuel and Bismarck Maritime Ltd chief executive officer, Jamie Sharp.

Freight subsidy for vegetable transportation

“With the restrictions due to COVID-19 State of Emergency, I am aware of concerns that fresh produce and vegetables outbound from Lae have ground to a halt due to limited shipping movements arising from fears of business losses by service providers,” said Minister Basil.

“This foodstuff is needed in Port Moresby supermarkets and re-sellers. And the cash income is needed by village producers, buyers and land transport service providers in the Highlands and Morobe provinces as well as re-sellers in Port Moresby and even in the New Guinea Islands.

Leaders eye fresh produce initiative

Prime Minister James Marape revealed that his Government is working with the governors of Central and NCD, as well as their respective members of parliament, to ensure residents have access to fresh produce.

With COVID-19 restrictions being put in place, access to fresh garden food, especially for city residents, has proven to be quite a challenge.

Marape said as a response to this, they will buy food from Central Province and store them in a warehouse inside the city.

Central Province’s food bowls are Koiari and Goilala

And this has only been a saying until the recent opportunity provided by a helicopter company, Airbone Logistics PNG has proven so.

From providing flight services into these remote areas, Airbone Logistics in June this year started buying fresh garden produce from farmers which they bring and resell in Port Moresby.

This has now become a daily routine where dry freight from Port Moresby is flown into Goilala, Koiari and Dorobisoro and the aircrafts returns with fresh garden produce.