Lack of transport affects market


THE lack of transport infrastructure tends to have an impact on perishable (compared with nonperishable) products such as fresh food, according to a World Bank Study.
World Bank PNG released its report in Port Moresby last week, Papua New Guinea Economic Update: Recovery Amid Uncertainty.
“Limited financial services are, in general, a constraint while access to finance is more challenging where significant financial investments are required,” the report stated.
These are some of the obstacles that impact on agricultural activity in the country. “Extension services are mixed, tending to favour export products, while rural villagers engaged in other cash income and subsistence activities tend to miss out.”
The report stated that limited market access and marketing services were a challenge, especially for local producers of value-added products for sale in the domestic market.
There were other threats, from climate change and a general lack of law and order.
The report stated that by building partnerships between the private and public sectors, these programmes leveraged technical and financial resources, expanded the possibilities for cost sharing on service delivery, and provided rural villagers with access to markets.
The report stated that the authorities needed to focus on improving cooperation and institutional capacity and providing innovative policy solutions.
“There is a broad understanding of the institutional and policy shortcomings hampering agriculture sector performance.
“The Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project and its follow-on Agriculture Commercialisation and Diversification Project, along with the other similar approaches applied by the development partners, provide innovative solutions through partnerships between the public and private sector.
“For the future, authorities should encourage this mode of delivery for cash income activities, including export, value-added, and primary products such as fresh foods, and consider extending this to subsistence activities.
“The focus on delivery support to subsistence and cash income agriculture activities is important, not only because it provides rural villagers with alternative sources of income; it also provides food security when cash income activities are limited.
“Inevitably, institutional cooperation and capacity building—involving both the public and private sectors as well as civil society and non-governmental organisations—will not only be effective (by impacting rural livelihoods) and efficient (by reducing delivery costs), it will also ensure a wider distribution of the benefits for rural villagers.”