5 Nov 2007

Anger at the impact of power outages on agricultural crops in transit in PNG

8:19 pm on 5 November 2007

A major hurdle for the Papua New Guinea Government to clear as it pushes rural development will be to improve the electricity supply.

One business says PNG Power Limited is destroying operations through unreliable service in rural towns and load shedding in the cities.

Alele Farm Fresh Produce brings vegetables in chilled containers from the Highlands through Lae to Port Moresby - a journey of about a week.

One of Alele's owners, Labini Roberts, says if the power is not interrupted the produce arrives in the capital in perfect condition.

But she more often than not it fails and they can lose the bulk of the shipment - worth tens of thousands of kina.

"We do not have a standby generator and so we depend on the main power supply for our refrigeration and if that goes off for a while, or every day for long periods of time, we lose fresh vegetables."

Labini Roberts says the company cannot afford a generator.