Farmer requests agency’s help to sell produce

Business

A FARMER has requested the board of the Fresh Produce Development Agency to provide a market for kaukau (sweet potatoes) from his farm.
Aku Kulo is a kaukau farmer and buyer at the Asaro Valley near Goroka town in Eastern Highlands. His farm was visited by the agency board chairman Fabian Chow and directors Greg Berry and Dos Kauga on Thursday.
He had developed the farm over the years supplying kaukau to Lae and Port Moresby markets weekly.
Chow commended Aku for his efforts. “You have done well and we are proud of you,” he said.
“We have assisted you with kaukau seedlings and technical support but you still need help to fully mechanise it.”
Kulo asked the agency to secure a market for him so he could properly label and pack his farm produce.
He supplies 200 bags every week to Port Moresby.
Aku supplies kaukau seeding to local farmers and later buy their produce to sell to Port Moresby and Lae markets.

3 comments

  • Provincial and national governments should subsidise farming to assist farmers in the Highlands (esp. Eastern and Western). The cost of production and marketing is very high and is really killing the poor farmers. In Koki market in NCD, there is a transit accommodation facility for farmers in the central province who are given the previlige to store their prodce and sell at a good retail price and enjoy a decent accommodation, thanks to Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, NCD governor and the Central province MPs. These MPs have seen the harassments, marginalisation and the struggles of their people and and have assisted them very well. A good cost subsidising initiative by visionary leaders who have the heart for their people.

    Can the Highlands MPs provide a garage or storage facility for the vegetable bags that find their way into the Port Moresby markets by our struggling farmers? Transportation costs, bag carrier’s charges and storage fees per bag is a burden for a struggling rural farmer. It costs around K6000 to get 100 kaukau bags from a rural farm in Western Highlands to the Gordens market in Port Moresby. If a bag costs K50- K100, the farmers are still being hardly hit and most farmers have been discouraged to continue. Most often poor farmers borrow to survive in this business and often they make losses when the vegetable prices drop. Government assistance is nill in this sector that is suppose to be giving all the priority. Majority of our population live in the rural areas and so the government should seriously consider supporting this sector to improve our economy.

  • Highlands farmers need good roads to transport their produce to places like Port Moresby. Instead of coming direct to Port Moresby, they go through Lae. We are independent for 45 years and we haven’t connected our towns and cities with roads. Politicians always give the reason that PNG’s rugged terrain is the cause of the poor road network. MPs need to allocate funds to continue to construct roads when the road under construction arrives at their electorate. We need to be serious in this. If we bring corruption low, we will see developments such as roads taking place.

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