21 Mar 2005

Papua New Guinea company says beef cattle farming has great potential

4:17 pm on 21 March 2005

A company in Papua New Guinea says beef cattle farming could be increased by four to five times its current level.

The Agri-Business manager for Trukai Industries, Geoff Fahey, says there are 300,000 hectares of land mass that could be used for livestock farming.

He says the potential is there but the training of smallholders in potential areas like Sepik, Madang and Milne Bay, is required.

Mr Fahey says they export to the Philippines and would like to send live cattle to Indonesia but they need to increase their stock levels which requires many more smallholders to become involved in the industry.

"One of the things that we do need to assist us here is better micro-finance with smallholders and people on customary land. We also need to look at schemes where farmers can stock their land and those animals are sold back to companies like ourselves."

Mr Fahey says Papua New Guinea exported 3,000 head of cattle last year but there is the potential to increase this many times.