Monday, August 17, 2009

Port Moresby mostly self-reliant in fruit, vegetable production

Most of Port Moresby’s supply of fruit and vegetables comes from areas around the city and not from the Highlands, according to a study carried out by the Fresh Produce Development Agency.

The 2008 study, results of which were released last week, shows that 50,000 tonnes of the capital’s demand is supplied from peri-urban production – including the hillsides around Port Moresby - while 7,500 tonnes is either imported from abroad or comes from Central provinces areas with good road links.

The study, however, found out that annual demand for fresh produce in the city was around 140, 500 tonnes, about double the current supply.

Port Moresby is the largest market for fresh produce in PNG, however, prior to this study adequate market information about Port Moresby was not available to guide decision-making in production, marketing and infrastructure investment in relation to PNG’s fresh produce industry.

To fill the gap, desk research and market surveys of Port Moresby’s fresh produce market were conducted over a six-week period in August-September 2008 to generate information on how Port Moresby is feeding itself.

A central finding of this project was that the majority of fresh produce was supplied from sources local to Port Moresby and not from the Highlands.

“The volume of fresh produce being supplied from the Highlands into Port Moresby appeared to be decreasing while supplied from Central province and the NCD are increasing,” according to the study.

“The annual volume of fresh produce imported into Port Moresby in 2007 was estimated to be just under 7, 500 tonnes, comprising 2, 500 tonnes from international air and sea arrivals; 3,500 tonnes from domestic sea arrivals; and 1, 430 tonnes from domestic arrivals.

“Fresh produce production in the peri-urban areas was approximately 8, 500 tonnes during the dry season from the six surveyed settlement areas, which translated into a total production of 50,000 tonnes per year from all settlements.

“Most fresh produce was sourced from Central province and the National Capital District and very little was sourced from overseas or the Highlands.

“The total supply of fresh produce to Port Moresby was estimated at 57, 780 tonnes, with 7, 430 tonnes (15%) coming from overseas and rest of Papua New Guinea, and 50, 350 tonnes (85%) from peri-urban production

“Annual demand for fresh produce in Port Moresby was estimated to be around 140, 500 tonnes.”

The study recommended, among others, that more information on future demand for fresh produce in Port Moresby in the longer term was needed, including a full-scale household survey.

It also recommended more detailed research on sources and types of supplies needed to account for the shortfall between the estimated supply of 57, 780 tonnes and the estimated demand of 140, 500 tonnes.




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