Source: The National, Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Story and picture by MALUM NALU
BRIAN BELL, the major supplier of agriculture seeds in the country, has to turn away hundreds of potential customers after it ran short of corn seeds.
There has been a massive demand from residents – both within the city and elsewhere – after the recent heavy rain
For instance yesterday at Brian Bell Boroko, with people turned up and asked for corn seeds, only to be told that supplies had run out.
A sign at the agriculture counter advised them that corn seeds had run out, and they should check again at the end of next month when new supplies arrived.
John Tokunai, a veteran radio journalist and now agricultural sales consultant with Brian Bell, told The National that corn was shipped in 870kg bags every quarter but sold out like “hot cakes”, especially during the rainy season.
|John Tokunai with a sign that says it all|
“That’s when the hills of Port Moresby are turned into vegetable plots.
“Here at Boroko, when the corn seeds arrive, the queues can extend past Ori Lavi Haus and past the Tango shop, just waiting for Brian Bell to open.
“Once the door opens at 8am, even before the corn packets are priced, they are quickly distributed to customers.
“We just sell, sell, sell, because there are so many people and we want to get rid of the long queues of customers in waiting.
“You can see from that indication that sales of corn seeds are very, very fast, they sell like hot cakes.
“Right now, at the end of February, we don’t have corn seeds.”
“The next shipment is due in six weeks time.”
Tokunai said pak choi (Chinese cabbage), cucumber, capsicum, and snake beans were also fast sellers, as they grew rapidly in Port Moresby during the rainy season, and were a good source of income for many people in the city.