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Thursday, 28 January 2016

PNG Government Suspends Produce Import Ban For 3 Months

The Government has announced revisions to the issuing of permits for the importation of fruit and vegetables into Port Moresby. The announcement was made yesterday by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Agriculture and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll. There will be a three-month moratorium for businesses in the retail sector to become better acquainted with import reforms that are designed to enhance local production and further protect Papua New Guinea’s bio-security. Mr O’Neill said the Government has taken on the views of businesses in providing the extension, and that ultimately the introduction of the new system will provide a boost for agricultural production. "It is not right that we have very capable farmers and small business in agriculture, but they cannot compete in their own country against foreign imports driven by major corporations. "We are levelling the playing field and creating new opportunities for our SMEs involved in food production. "We can grow premium organic fruit and vegetables in this country that is of a higher standard and will be a lot better for the health of our people," he said. Mr O’Neill said that in the coming months preparations will be made for the new system to come into full effect. "We will do this in a structured way so that foreign producers will be able to familiarise themselves with the new system, and new import permits will be awarded," he added. During this period there will be further consultation between PNG farmers, wholesalers and retailers to improve supply chains.

Source: Pacific Islands Report