SHARON E BARNABAS
TWO major local poultry farms, Tablebirds and Zenag Chickens, are ready to meet the increasing demands for the meat, according to their executives.
With the K40 billion PNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, mining and other major projects coming up throughout the country, there would be a projected increase in demand for chicken.
This was the assurance from Mainland Holdings Ltd chief executive Richard Greenhalgh when taking up office from his former role as Tablebird’s general manager last month.
“Before taking into account any extra market size as a result of mining developments, overall consumption of the poultry products is slowly growing,” Mr Greenhalgh said.
“We are prepared to meet the demand,” he said.
Tablebirds has also recently re-entered the table eggs market and are looking at doubling production in the next nine months because of the increasing demand and hope this would stop the import of eggs.
“Overall market in PNG for both products is difficult to estimate due to some imports from Australia into the Port Moresby market.
“The imported chicken from Australia is basically ‘dumped’ products comprising of wings and cocktails which the Australian producers cannot sell in their own markets.
“Despite this, there is ability to increase production to meet demands for both products with relative ease.”
Mr Greenhalgh said: “There are no capacity constraints to meet the increasing demands.”
Zenag Chicken managing director Philip Leahy shared similar sentiments and said there was considerable underutilised capacity in the industry thus, there would not be any problem to increase production when needed.
Mr Leahy hoped to see that all the food requirements are “sourced locally in PNG” and not from overseas as had happened in the past.
He added that the imports of “cheap off cuts” from overseas market by certain companies when it was available was to increase their own profit margins.
“There is no shortage of supply of chicken in PNG,” Mr Leahy said.