Abundance of food in PNG, says official


THERE is an abundance of food in the country yet it still imports large quantities of fresh produce, Department of Agriculture and Livestock director of food security Brown Konabe says.
“We produce abundant quantities of local food estimated at four million tonnes per year,” he said.
“However, we are still importing large quantities of cereals, vegetables, fruits and meat.”
Konabe said although imported food were important in providing diversity in markets and stability to food prices, the country has to consider food security issues.
“Availability of food imports provides competition to local food and provides stability to food prices,” he said.
“But for long-term security, we have to encourage self-sufficiency in food items that we have. We must develop our own capacity to produce our own food and not heavily rely on imports.”
Konabe said in PNG, food production was not an issue.
“The main issue is accessibility to food. The physical and economic access to food is affected by poor market access due to poor transport infrastructure, level of incomes and a high level of poverty, which is prevalent in remote rural areas.”
Konabe was addressing World Food Day at the University of Natural Resources and Environment Vudal campus in East New Britain last Friday.
The celebration started with a conference for farmers last Wednesday.

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