Sweet potato farmers in Papua New Guinea have gained valuable insight into consumer buying preferences, which is helping to identify new market opportunities. The recent market analysis, supported by the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership through ACIAR, was the first of its kind in PNG. It revealed that an increasing number of consumers in Port Moresby prefer to buy their fresh produce from supermarkets.
While this trend could see a decline in customers at traditional farmer markets, PNG and Australian researchers say it could create new market opportunities for rural communities. "Farmers are looking for stable markets where they can receive more consistent prices for better-quality produce," said Professor Philip Brown from Central Queensland University (CQU), who is leading the research project.
"The research shows that consumer behaviour is likely to support an expansion in the super-market sector in large urban centres and this is positive news for the farmers. This could allow commercially focused farmers to secure more stable market access."