Papua New Guinea

Government freight subsidy is effective & helpful for growers during Covid peak

The Papua New Guinean government’s freight subsidy is very effective and helpful for fresh produce farmers during the Covid-19 peak period. Fresh Produce Agency chairman Fabian Chow has stated that the government's fresh produce freight subsidy has been effective in such that it helps improve sales and increase supplies into city markets. He says the freight subsidy has served its purpose of helping the farmers in transporting their produce to the main city markets.

"We should prioritise more assistance to the farmers on encouraging planting and getting the supply chain done. Those are the priorities,” he told "There was big need when Covid first came about where there was shortage of certain fresh produce like Kaukau and so the price for kaukau increased. There was a big impact to the middle man and farmers who were transporting kaukau to Port Moresby in the early days of Covid.”

"That was at stage one and it needed to be done quickly and it was done quickly but when that was used up there was still a little bit of need for it but I think what happened was we learnt our lessons from stage one," he added. "In fact it was a little bit of oversupply, we overshot because it was not coordinated, so in stage two the department of national planning and the minister responsible gave the fresh produce development agency a little bit of involvement to move supplies through Bismarck shipping to keep prices at a steady rate.”

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