Fresh produce ban lifted: Tomscoll

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The National, Wednesday July 6th, 2016

A BAN on some fresh produce has been lifted following consultation between the supply chain players and stakeholders.
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll (pictured) said it was effective from Monday.
“I am pleased to note that the rationale behind my initial imposition of the ban on these fresh produce is to show that there is adequate local supply,” Tomscoll said.
“I thank Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for his support and I also want to thank all local growers, suppliers, buyers, consumers and service providers for their patience, creativity, mobilisation and alignment to ensure local farmers can access this market.”
The fresh produce that were banned included potatoes, bulb onions, cabbage (round), carrots, tomatoes, capsicum, pumpkins, peas, zucchini, egg plants, pak choi/Chinese cabbages, French beans, lettuce and celery.
Tomscoll said the ban was to protect and promote the local industry.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock imposed the ban on Aug 12 last year. A moratorium was imposed on April 1 for three months.
An additional month was allowed to give more time to the buyers, suppliers and growers to consult, establish and strengthen the local fresh produce value and supply chains.
Tomscoll said the Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) facilitated consultation with value and supply chain players and stakeholders over the last two months.
“The consultation was to get views from all players and stakeholders on how to improve the local fresh produce value chain in light of the import ban,” Tomscoll said.
The meetings were held in Port Moresby, Lae, Mt Hagen, Goroka and some of the mining enclaves with growers, suppliers, transport companies, input suppliers, supermarkets, catering companies and service providers.