Poor transport system affects fresh produce


Inefficiencies in the country’s transport system are contributing to the “shocking amount” of wasted fresh produce by local farmers in the country, according to NKW Fresh Produce general-manager David Stewart.
He said the major difficulty faced by farmers was bringing their produce to market.
Stewart said PNG was one of the birth places of agriculture, however, farmers’ efforts were being wasted because of the inefficient transport network and unavailability of markets.
NKW Fresh Produce launched its Meri Seif Market initiative last Sunday in Lae to provide an avenue for them to sell their locally-grown vegetables.
“The conditions of our roads here are so bad that local produce cannot make it to the market,” Stewart said.
He said NKW Fresh Produce was trying to help in reducing imports of vegetables that could be grown locally by buying from local farmers, and re-selling to local customers.
“We are looking for tariffs on fresh produce coming in so that we can replace imports,” Stewart said.
He stressed the urgent need for roads to be improved for local farmers to be on a more-level playing field with imported produce.
NKW Fresh Produce currently has depots in Lae, Mumeng and Wau in Morobe, and Kainantu in Eastern Highlands, with plans to open more in the country.