Joel Alu

NAQIA officers in Mendi

NAQIA Managing Director Joel Alu said the team left for Mendi last Wednesday.

Mr Alu confirmed that 15 animal officers from NAQIA are currently in Mendi, Southern Highland Province, to investigate and establish preventative measures to try to contain the outbreak of the African swine fever in the Highlands region.

The African swine fever outbreak was first reported on March 29, 2020.

However, Alu explained that the scientists delayed their travel to Mendi because of the lockdown period.

Coffee Berry Borer pest may have been introduced: NAQIA

Alu says that the discovery of the pest right in the heartland of the country and not along the periphery’s was suspicious

In an interview with Loop PNG Alu said that had the pest, or any for that matter, entered through the borders it would have been picked up by NAQIA or the Coffee Industry Corporation.

PNG authorities have been able to keep the pest our of the country after first appearing in Indonesia in 1992. However, the recent discovery raised eyebrows as to how it evaded their radar.