Rising demand for meat costs K140mil in imports


DEMAND for meat consumption in Papua New Guinea has increased steadily over the past two decades and is currently costing the country around K140 million every year, according to a report on the country’s agricultural sector presented in Parliament yesterday.
The report, presented by Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Benny Allan, highlighted a number of issues which needed to be addressed by Government and key players in the country’s agricultural sector.
One of the issues is the steady increase in the demand for meat in.
Allan said the livestock sub-sector contributed about 15 per cent of total domestic food production and about 12 per cent of the agricultural gross domestic product.
“This status has remained unchanged for over three decades,” he said.
Allan said there was no significant export of livestock products and commercial production in the country, except for pigs and poultry.
Production had declined steadily since the 1970s.
“Meat consumption on the other hand has increased steadily over the past two decades and is predicted to increase at a conservative rate of five per cent per year,” Allan said.
“That increased demand for meat is currently met by meat imports costing around K140 million per year.”
Allan said the poultry industry in PNG generated over K800 million annually with more than 80 per cent of this produced by outgrower farmers living in rural areas.
Allan said there was great potential for livestock farmers and farming groups to raise their productivity and output to match future demand for meat.
He said the Government planned to revive the Livestock Development Corporation (LDC) which it stopped funding in 2014.
Allan said the LDC was established in 1983 to take over the responsibility and operations of various ranches, abattoirs, and other activities operated by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL).
“Through reviving LDC, we plans to focus on reviving the cattle industry in the short to medium term, as poultry and piggery already have established private sector investments,” he said.

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